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Kandal Villagers Screened for Bird Flu

At least 50 villagers have tested negative for avian influenza in a suburb of Phnom Penh, following at least one case last week.

Of 90 villagers tested and consulted in Kandal Steung district, Kandal province, 50 have passed a blood test, said Ly Sovann, deputy director of the communicable disease control department of the Ministry of Health.

“We need 10 more days to be sure of the result on 40 people among 90 villagers,” he said.

Ministry of Health officials are investigating the area following the exposure of one case of a 19-year-old Nov. 28. The victim, Teng Sopheak, is still recovering in Calmette hospital.

Avian influenza, carried in wild and domestic birds by the H5N1 virus, has symptoms that include fever, cough, muscle ache and sore throat. It can be deadly to humans, killing seven Cambodians since 2005, and authorities worry it will mutate into a more communicable form.