Friday, February 09, 2024

Cambodia: MOH Announces 3rd H5N1 Case of 2024


Twelve days after reporting their second case of 2024, Cambodia's MOH has posted a statement (see below) regarding death of a 9-y.o. boy from the H5N1 virus. This time, this case was identified in KratiƩ Province, in the Northeastern part of the nation.

The translated statement reads:

Kingdom of Cambodia, Nation, Religion, King
Ministry of Health
Press Release

9-year-old boy dies of bird flu

The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia would like to inform the public that there is another case of bird flu in a 9-year-old boy and was confirmed positive for H5N1 bird flu virus (H5N1) from the National Institute. Public Health on February 8, 2024, living in Kapo 1 Village, Or Russey Commune, Kratie City, Kratie Province. Despite the care and rescue of doctors, due to the serious condition of the child, including fever, shortness of breath, cough and fainting, the child died on February 8, 2024. According to the interrogation, at the patient's house, 5 chickens and 3 ducks died and the chickens and ducks were eaten.

The National and Sub-National Emergency Response Team of the Ministry of Health has been cooperating with the working groups of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment, local authorities at all levels to actively investigate the outbreak of bird flu and respond. Respond to methods and technical protocols, continue to search for sources of transmission on both animals and humans, and continue to search for suspected cases and affected people to prevent transmission to others in the community, and distribute Tamiflu to affected people. Close to the people in the village where the incident occurred. And health education campaign

The Ministry of Health would like to remind all citizens to be careful about bird flu because H5N1 bird flu continues to threaten the health of our people and also would like to inform you if there are symptoms. Fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath and a history of contact with sick or dead chickens during the 14 days before the onset of symptoms, do not visit crowded places or seek consultation and examination. Get treatment at the nearest health facility as soon as possible.

Transmission: H5N1 bird flu is a flu virus that is usually transmitted from sick birds to other birds, but can sometimes be transmitted from birds to humans through close contact with sick or dead birds. Avian influenza in humans is a serious disease that requires timely hospitalization. Although it is not easily transmitted from person to person, if it can metabolize it can be as contagious as the seasonal flu.

Preventive measures: Government educational messages include: Wash hands frequently with soap and water before eating and after contact with birds, keep children away from birds and keep birds away from living, do not eat birds. Sick or dead and all birds made for eating must be well cooked.

The Ministry of Health will continue to inform the public about information related to public health issues through the Telegram Channel and the official Facebook page of the Ministry of Health, as well as the official Facebook page of the Department of Infectious Diseases and the website, which has Health education materials that can be downloaded, viewed and used. For more information, please contact the Ministry of Health Hotline 115 toll-free.

Friday, February 15, 2024, Phnom Penh, February 20, 2024

This becomes the 9th case (and 5th fatality) reported by Cambodia from HPAI H5N1 in less than a year, which is the biggest 12 month total for any nation since 2015.  As with the previous 8 cases, this infection is likely to be from the older clade of the virus. 

All this comes after 9 years of quiescence in Cambodia from the H5N1 virus. 

Prior to the emergence of (the now ubiquitous) clade in 2014, clade had successfully winged its was from Asia to West Africa (see 2016's EID Journal: HPAI A(H5N1) clade In West Africa), meaning it could conceivably pose a threat to nations outside of Cambodia. 

So far, we haven't seen any evidence of sustained or efficient human-to-human transmission of H5N1, but this recent uptick in clade infections warrants our attention. 

I posted the WHO's most recent update and risk assessment on this blog yesterday.