Two boys from Takeo infected with bird flu H5N1

According to the Takeo health department, two boys, aged three and five, have been infected with H5N1 bird flu, while 29 others are still awaiting test results from the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Pasteur Institute (PI) of Cambodia.

H5N1 is a subtype of influenza that primarily infects birds. However, the H5N1 virus can also infect mammals that have been exposed to infected birds in some cases. In these cases, symptoms are often severe or fatal.

Nhea Sithan, director of health services in Takeo, said yesterday that two children have been diagnosed with the H5N1 bird flu virus, while 29 people are awaiting blood test results from the NIPH and PI.

He said the Takeo Prefectural Health Department has asked experts to work with relevant ministries to identify anyone who has eaten chicken suspected of being infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus.

“We addressed the situation in a timely manner and sent 29 people who may have been exposed to H5N1 to the hospital to have their blood tested to see whether they had contracted bird flu or not,” he said.

Takeo Provincial Production and Veterinary Office director Thai Ly said yesterday that more than 600 chickens considered at high risk of infection with the H5N1 virus have been destroyed after the Takeo Provincial Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department detected a case of bird flu in Por village.

He added that according to previous studies of the bird flu virus, this level of infection is unlikely to spread to other villages. However, he urged people not to eat sick or already dead birds to prevent H5N1 infection.

“We urge people to be vigilant against bird flu infection by not eating or cooking chickens and ducks that are sick or dying from unknown causes due to the danger posed by H5N1,” he said.

Health officials advise that anyone who develops a fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath and has had contact with sick or dead chickens or birds in the past 14 days before developing symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible and seek treatment at their nearest medical centre.

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