H5N1 avian influenza killed two more people, a young girl whose illness was first announced by Cambodian authorities today and a Chinese woman whose infection was first reported 3 days ago.
Cambodia's health ministry, in a joint statement with the World Health Organization (WHO) said the 3-year-old girl who died was from Kampot province and is the country's seventh H5N1 case so far this year. She got sick on Feb 3 and was first treated by local private practitioners.
When her condition worsened she was taken to Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh on Feb 6, where she died today after having fever, abdominal pain, and somnolence. The Pasteur Institute in Cambodia confirmed H5N1 in the girl's lab samples on Feb 11.
An investigation into the source of her infection identified recent poultry deaths in the girl's village and reported that she had contact with sick poultry before she started having symptoms. Kampot province is in southern Cambodia and borders two other provinces—Kampong Speu and Takeo—that reported H5N1 cases this year.
The girl's infection marks Cambodia's 28th H5N1 case since 2005, and her death raises the country's total number of deaths from the disease to 25. All but one of the seven H5N1 cases this year have been fatal.
Meanwhile, a 21-year-old woman hospitalized in critical condition with an H5N1 infection in China's Guizhou province died this morning, Xinhua, the country's state news agency, reported. Hers is one of two H5N1 cases announced by China's health ministry on Feb 10.
The woman and a 31-year-old male case-patient are both from Guiyang, the province's capital. However, so far investigators have found no epidemiologic links between the two patients. According to previous reports, the woman got sick on Feb 2 after having no apparent contact with poultry.