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Cambodia, China Report Cases Of Avian Influenza H5N1

“Cambodia reported on Wednesday that another four-year-old girl has contracted avian influenza H5N1, becoming the seventh person [in the country to contract] the virus in 2013,” Xinhua reports (2/13). “Cambodia saw eight cases of avian flu, ending in eight deaths in the whole of 2011, according to WHO figures, while 2012 saw three cases and three deaths,” GlobalPost notes, adding, “That figure has already been surmounted in a little over a month in 2013, with the death of a three-year-old girl on February 13th, bringing the year’s total to seven cases and six fatalities.” According to the news service, “Both the Cambodian Ministry of Health and the WHO advised Cambodians to take pains to keep children away from live chickens and ducks, and to wash their hands often.” Some public health experts are “concerned that H5N1 could mutate into a form potentially transmissible from person to person, leading to pandemic,” the news service notes (Greenwood, 2/13). Health officials in southwest China have reported two cases of H5N1, with one death, the Associated Press reports, adding, “Authorities said they found no evidence the patients had contact with poultry before falling ill” (2/12).