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H1N1 Virus Claims Fifth Cambodian

A fifth person in Cambodia has died from the H1N1 virus, sometimes called swine flu, health authorities said Thursday.

The victim, a 20-year-old man from Phnom Penh, succumbed late last week after a stay at Calmette hospital, Sok Touch, director of the Ministry of Health’s communicable disease department, told reporters.

The total number of cases of the disease, which is considered a global epidemic, rose to 472, up from 444 cases last week.

The disease has spread across 13 provinces and cities so far: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kandal, Takeo, Kampong Speu, Battambang, Kampong Chnang, Svay Rieng, Kampong Cham, Mondolkiri, Kampot, Prey Veng and Banteay Meanchey.

The Ministry of Health will receive 300,000 doses of flu vaccine from the World Health Organization, to combat the spread of the virus at the end of this month, officials said.

Health experts continue to warn people to avoid crowded places if they have flu-like symptoms, including fever of 38 degrees Celsius, a sore throat, headaches, muscle aches and lethargy.

Only patients with severe cases of H1N1 will be hospitalized.