Two Cambodian children died of H5N1 avian influenza infections today, raising the nation's 2013 H5N1 death toll to four and its case total to five, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.
Cambodia has had more H5N1 cases and deaths this month than in all of 2012, when, according to World Health Organization figures, there were three cases, all fatal.
The WHO office in Cambodia said a 17-month-old girl from Kampong Speu province and a 9-year-old girl from Kampot province died of avian flu today after being hospitalized, according to the AP story.
The AP gave no further details on the two cases, but a report today in the Phnom Penh Post said a 2-year-old girl from Kampong Speu was diagnosed with H5N1 Jan 26 after being hospitalized in Phom Penh. The story said that more than 40 chickens at her home had died earlier.
Cambodia reported three human H5N1 cases, two of them fatal, last week. An 8-month-old boy from Phnom Penh recovered, but a 15-year-old girl from Takeo province and a 35-year-old man from Kampong Speu succumbed to the disease.
If the five cases reported last week and today are recognized by the WHO, Cambodia's overall H5N1 toll will rise to 26 cases with 23 deaths.It's now 3:00 p.m. Monday on the west coast of North America, and 6:00 a.m. Tuesday in Phnom Penh. I'm hoping we'll learn more in the next few hours as the Cambodian authorities and WHO experts continue their investigations.