Another H5N1 avian flu case has surfaced in Cambodia, that of a 5-year-old girl whose illness was detected retrospectively, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region Office on 17 May 2013. Her illness, which began on 28 January 2013, was found during a fever surveillance study conducted by the US Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU). Her respiratory samples tested positive for H5N1 on 2 May 2013. The girl is from a village in Kampong Speu province. She is alive, and health officials are investigating her exposure to poultry, the WHO said. The latest infection raises Cambodia’s total number of H5N1 cases to 32, which includes 27 deaths. Her illness is the country’s 11th H5N1 case reported in 2013.
Hospital officials have confirmed that a six-year-old boy from Kampot province has H5N1 avian flu and is in serious condition. “The boy was admitted to the Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penhon 31 March 2013 for severe pneumonia, and he tested positive for H5N1 at the Institut Pasteur on 2 April 2013,” said Dr. Denis Laurent, deputy director of the hospital. The boy’s illness is the country’s tenth case of H5N1 flu in 2013, eight of which have been fatal. Since 2005 the World Health Organization has confirmed 30 other H5N1 cases in Cambodia, 27 of which were fatal. Globally more than 600 cases have been confirmed.
Avian flu outbreaks on farms in Cambodia and Bangladesh have led to the culling of more than 4,000 poultry, reported on 12 March 2013. In the first outbreak, workers culled 2,359 birds after H5N1 avian flu killed ten birds on a poultry farm in Siem Reap province in northwestern Cambodia, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on 12 March 2013. In addition to the culling to prevent disease spread, the farm has instituted disinfection measures. All nine cases of human H5N1 flu in Cambodia in 2013 have been in more southerly provinces. Eight of those cases proved fatal.
In Bangladesh, more than 1,800 chickens were culled and 400 eggs destroyed after an unspecified strain of avian flu was confirmed at a poultry farm in Rajbari district on 10 March 2013. The owner of a farm in Kalyianpur village informed a district livestock officer after several chickens died on his farm. A lab in Manikganj confirmed avian flu.