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Doctor Outlines Methods to Prevent Bird Flu

Authorities in Mondolkiri province held a community forum Thursday to educate remote communities on bird flu, a doctor said Thursday.

The forum sought to educate villagers on how they can protect their poultry—and their families—from catching the deadly virus, said Dr. Rith Bunroeun, the avian influenza coordinator for Medicam, an umbrella organization of more than 100 health organizations in Cambodia.

Bird flu has killed seven Cambodians since 2005. There have been 22 poultry outbreaks in that time.

Newly purchased poultry should be kept separate from an existing flock for at least two weeks, Rith Bunroeun said, speaking as a guest on "Hello VOA."

"Keep birds that appear to be or are sick away from the rest of the flock," he said.

"Avian influenza can enter your farm when you introduce new poultry," the UN Food and Agricultural Organization warns on its Web site.

The disease "can be transmitted between different species," like chicken to pig, the agency says. "Ducks can become infected with avian influenza without showing any symptoms, and then transmit it to chickens."