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Sunday, May 19, 2024
EnvironmentWorld

Bird flu situation is ‘under control’ after rural scare, say Cambodian officials

Cambodian officials said Monday the bird flu situation in a rural village is “now under control” following the death of an 11-year-old girl from the H5N1 strain.

The girl’s father recently tested negative, though he is still being treated in the hospital after he got infected last week.

The pair of infections sparked fears of human-to-human transmission of the virus, which is devastating bird stocks across the globe and spilling into other species, including minks and sea lions.

Yet investigators said 29 samples of close contacts and persons with flu-like illness in the Cambodian village came back negative, according to Or Vandine, a spokeswoman for the Cambodian Ministry of Health.

Officials said the pair were the only ones infected and the virus does not appear to be spreading from person to person.

The World Health Organization said it is closely monitoring the situation.

While human cases of H5N1 are rare — humans don’t have the type of receptors that make other species more vulnerable to infection — the public health community is worried about mutations that could spark another pandemic.

For now, Cambodian officials are tamping down concerns about last week’s incident and asking people to be careful, especially around wild birds.

Ms. Vandine said people should wash their hands regularly, stay away from dead or sick poultry, and eat “well-cooked foods.”

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