PHNOM PENH - Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday called on all government agencies and civilian groups to come together to combat the bird flu, which has killed at least eight people since January, a marked increase from the years since the disease first appeared in 2003.
Government workers, civic groups, monks, teachers and media must all work together to “prevent catastrophe,” Hun Sen said in a speech.
The last known case of the disease was Feb. 25. The victim was a 35-year-old man who apparently contracted the disease, spread by the H5N1 virus, after eating contaminated duck. The disease can be spread from between wild fowl and domestic poultry, and from birds to humans, but it is so far not able to spread from human to human, which would make it far more dangerous.
Meanwhile, China has banned the import of eggs from Cambodia and insisted on controls for passengers arriving from Cambodia.
Hun Sen said during a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh that the virus has spread in different parts of the world, including the Middle East and China.
“We must prevent the spread to prevent catastrophe for human and animal life,” he said. Those in rural areas must be aware of signs, like sick or dead poultry, and they should report these instances to the nearest health official, he said.