Father of Girl Who Died of Bird Flu Tests Negative

The father of a girl who died of bird flu has tested negative, with the Ministry of Health assuring the population that the virus is under control
Chickens on sales in a market in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Chickens on sales in a market in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The Ministry of Health said on Monday that the father of an 11-year-old girl who died of bird flu in Prey Veng province has tested negative and the situation is under control as there is no indication of transmission between humans.

Despite the 49-year-old man testing negative for the H5N1 strain, he still remains in isolation for treatment in Prey Veng, said Or Vandine, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health.

“Up to now, there is no indication of a big outbreak and what we are waiting for is a clear conclusion from the team that had gone to investigate on the ground,” Vandine told reporters at the Ministry.

However, Vandine personally said human to human transmission is unlikely.

“There is a possibility of infection from bird to human because humans are in contact with sick or dead birds with H5N1. However, to ask whether there is a possibility that this virus can transmit from one human to another, we must wait and see but there is always concern because viruses can evolve,” she said.

“It can happen, so we wait for a final conclusion of the team but up to now, we have not found any further infections, there are just these two cases. This is a good sign for us and it is completely under our control for bird flu H5N1 in that area.”

Vandine’s comments come after an announcement from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the H5N1 virus that killed the 11-year-old has been discovered among domestic and wild birds in Cambodia during the last few years.

The virus was clade and is different from the H5N1 bird flu virus in other parts of the world, Cambodia CDC said on its Facebook page on Sunday.