Young Cambodian siblings die of H5N1
A 7-year-old Cambodian boy and his 3-year-old sister died from H5N1 avian flu late last week, a health official said today, but only the boy was tested, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency.
"They died on the same day [Feb 7] at Kampong Cham Provincial Referral Hospital," said Sok Touch, MD, MPH, director of the Communicable Disease Control Department in Cambodia's health ministry. The siblings were from northeastern Kratie province, which adjoins Kampong Cham province. They contracted the virus on Feb 1, the story said.
"Chickens were found died in their village, and they had touched and eaten poultry before getting sick," Touch said. The boy tested positive for H5N1, but the girl was not tested, he said. The patients, though, had similar symptoms.
Feb 12 Xinhua story
WHO says flu rising in Europe, parts of Asia
The global influenza activity portrait offered by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its latest update today features mostly decreasing levels in North America and increases in Europe and parts of Asia.
The update, dated Feb 10 but posted today, says flu activity has decreased in Canada and the United States in recent weeks but has increased in Mexico, with the 2009 H1N1 virus predominant.
Flu continued to increase in Europe, especially in southern regions, with both H3N2 and 2009 H1N1 viruses circulating, the agency said.
In central and western Asia, increasing H3N2 activity was reported by Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, and Turkey, but activity remained low in the rest of the region. Meanwhile in eastern Asia, cases remained low overall, but activity was high in southern and northern China and increased in Mongolia and South Korea. The 2009 H1N1 virus has been generally predominant.
Flu activity in tropical regions varied, while it remained low in the Southern Hemisphere, the WHO reported.
From Jan 12 to 25, WHO-affiliated flu labs in 97 countries tested 68,458 respiratory specimens, of which 19,547 (28.6%) were positive for flu. Of the positive specimens, 92% were influenza A and 8% were influenza B.
Among type A viruses that were subtyped, 79.8% were 2009 H1N1 and 20.2% were H3N2, the WHO said. One virus was an H5N1 strain.
Feb 10 WHO flu update