Bird flu has claimed the life of a 4-year-old girl from Banteay Meanchey province, the sixth child this year, health officials confirmed Friday.
The girl had been ill for 10 days and had sought treatment from a traditional healer before she was transferred to a pediatric hospital in Siem Reap, where she succumbed.
“She touched a dead chicken and got sick,” said Sok Touch, director of the Ministry of Health’s communicable disease department.
Hers was the 15th death from avian influenza since 2003, and the seventh death this year, the ministry and the World Health Organization said in a statement.
“Avian influenza is still a threat to the health of the Cambodian people,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng said in the statement, adding that children were especially susceptible.
“I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry,” he said.
Sok Touch said the girl’s village was now under supervision, while results from blood tests of 13 other villagers were pending.
Worldwide, bird flu has been confirmed in 563 people since 2003, with 330 of them dying.