Health authorities are on alert in Cambodia following the appearance of a case of swine flu. The H1N1 virus has not appeared in Cambodia for several years.
Khun Nor, a cameraman for Cambodian Broadcasting Services, died Wednesday from swine flu after a week in a hospital in Phnom Penh. His death could mark the reappearance of a virus that infected hundreds of Cambodians in 2009, killing five.
“He was sick for quite a long time before he came to the hospital, and that’s late,” said Chhoeung Yay Yen, deputy director of the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, where Khun Nor was treated before his death.
Ly Sovann, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said Khun Nor’s case has been the only confirmed case of the virus. Family members and staff members at CBS have been tested, he said, but “no other H1N1 cases were found.”
CBS said in a statement it was working to make sure the virus would not reemerge. “CBS has doubled the efforts on sanitation within the workplace as a preventive measure, alongside vaccination of all employees,” it said.
Ly Sovann urged people who suspect they may have swine flu to get to a medical facility for examination as soon as possible. Especially vulnerable are children under the age of five, the elderly, pregnant women, and those facing chronic disease, he said.