Cambodian girl dies from bird flu

May 29, 2012
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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – A 10-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, AFP reported Monday (May 28th). It is the country's third fatality from the virulent disease this year.

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    The child developed a fever and shortness of breath on May 20th and died on Sunday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a joint statement with the Cambodian health ministry.

    Hospital tests confirmed she had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. She had prepared sick chicken for food prior to taking ill, the statement said.

    The girl is the 21st person in Cambodia to become infected with the H5N1 virus since 2003. Nineteen of those cases have been fatal. The H5N1 strain has killed 357 people worldwide since 2003, according to WHO statistics. China, Vietnam and Indonesia have all reported deaths from the virus this year.

    The virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible among people.

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