Dec 12, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported that a 19-year-old man from Cambodia has been hospitalized with H5N1 avian influenza, the country's first case in nearly a year and a half.
The man, from Kandal province, got sick on Nov 28 and first sought care from his local health center 2 day later, according to the WHO report. He is now listed as Cambodia's eighth H5N1 case, of which seven have been fatal.
Sok Touch, head of the ministry's communicable diseases department, said the man is in stable condition in a hospital in Calmette, the provincial capital, Reuters reported today. Kandal province is in southern Cambodia, just south of Phnom Penh.
Presence of the H5N1 virus in the man's samples were confirmed yesterday by the National Influenza Centre at the Institut Pasteur in Phnom Penh, the WHO reported.
Officials from Cambodia's health ministry are investigating the source of the man's infection, according to the WHO report. Ly Sovann, a ministry bird flu expert, said the man became ill after handling a sick chicken at his home, the Associated Press reported today.
The health ministry is identifying his contacts and providing them with antiviral prophylaxis, the WHO said.
Cambodia's last H5N1 case was reported in April 2007 when a 13-year-old girl from Kampong Chang province died after poultry deaths were reported in her village and after eating a sick chicken, according to a previous report from the WHO.
The country's latest case raises the WHO's global H5N1 count to 390 cases and 246 deaths.
Dec 12 WHO statement
Apr 10, 2007, WHO statement