Two cases of bird flu in Cambodia, in a daughter and her father, did not spread from one to the other.
Health officials said the two contracted the virus from poultry, easing concerns about a possible public health crisis, the Associated Press reported.
The 11-year-old girl died on February 22 at a hospital in the capital, Phnom Penh. She was from the southeastern province of Prey Veng.
Shortly before her death, the girl had tested positive for type A H5N1 avian influenza, the AP reported.
His father tested positive the day after his death. The AP reported he was isolated until he had no strong symptoms and three negative tests, then released.
The Cambodian health ministry said the two had “been infected through poultry in their village, and there is no indication or evidence that there was infection from father to daughter”.
The World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health officials in Cambodia have concluded that the infections were spread through poultry, said Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann.
The strain that killed the girl was different from bird flu circulating globally among wild and domestic birds, virologist Erik Karlsson told the science journal. Nature in an interview. Karlsson works at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge in Phnom Penh.
Rather, the strain is part of a group of viruses that have been found in chickens and ducks in the region for at least a decade, the AP reported.
The girl was the first known person to contract the virus in Cambodia since 2014.
Karlsson said it was unclear why the girl would have caught the virus after so long without a case. This may be due to “many global changes in farming practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic that could have created the conditions for a spillover,” he said.
“We know that in Cambodia, the pandemic has increased the number of backyard poultry farms,” Karlsson said in the Nature interview, noting that many people, such as tour guides, could not work and had to supplement their income and food sources.
“All over the world, people are still struggling, which has led to changes in farming practices that can increase the risk of contagion,” he added. “And changes in people’s health, for example malnutrition or being overweight, can make people more susceptible to infection.”
While Cambodian health officials tested more than two dozen villagers, no others were found to have the virus, the AP reported.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on bird flu.
Health Day 2023. All rights reserved.
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