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Vietnamese, Cambodian Officials Meet Over Bird Flu Concerns

Grilled chickens are sold at a stall in front of the main market in Siem Reap province, some 230 kilometers (143 miles) northwest of the capital Phnom Penh, file photo.
Health officials from Cambodia and Vietnam met on Monday in an effort to cooperate on avian influenza.

The disease, commonly known as bird flu, killed 14 Cambodians since 2004, and four so far this year. Global health officials worry that the virus could mutate into a pathogen that is spread from human to human—rather than bird to human, as now—creating a global pandemic.

Health officials from the two Southeast Asian countries were discussing the apparent “reappearance” of bird flu, caused by the H5N1 virus, said Lotfi Allal, a technical adviser for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Health officials are finding ways they can work together, share information and “improve the situation,” he said.