Emergencies preparedness, response

Avian influenza – situation in Cambodia – update

6 April 2006

The Ministry of Health in Cambodia has confirmed the country’s sixth case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case occurred in a 12-year-old boy from the south-eastern province of Prey Veng, which borders Viet Nam.

The boy developed symptoms of fever and headache on 29 March. He was initially treated at a private clinic, then hospitalized in Phnom Penh on 4 April. He died on 5 April. Samples from the boy tested positive for H5N1 infection at the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia.

A team from the Ministry of Health, WHO, and the Pasteur Institute investigated the situation in the child’s village yesterday. Numerous chicken deaths and some duck deaths were noted to have occurred in the neighbourhood in recent weeks. The child reportedly gathered dead chickens for distribution to village families for consumption.

The investigative team identified 25 close contacts of the child. None of these people show signs of illness at present. House-to-house surveillance for signs of influenza-like illness is continuing.

This case is the sixth in Cambodia and the second this year. All six cases were fatal.