The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Kingdom of Cambodia wishes to advise members of the public that two new human cases of avian influenza have been confirmed for the H5N1 virus. These are the 19th and 20th cases this year and the 40th and 41st persons to become infected with the H5N1 virus in Cambodia. The 20th case died on 17th September. Of the 41 confirmed cases, 30 were children under 14, and 24 of the 41 were female. In addition, only 9 cases out of the 20 cases this year survived.
The 19th case, a 5-year-old girl from Prey Slek village, Prey Slek commune, Traing district in Takeo province confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza on 14th September by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. The girl developed fever on 7th September and her family initially sought treatment for her in a private clinic. Her condition later worsened and the girl was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital on 12th September with fever, dyspnea, cyanosis, somnolence, cough and chest pain. Laboratory samples were taken and Tamiflu administered on 13th September. The girl recovers and is discharged from the hospital today.
Investigations by the Ministry of Health’s Rapid Response Teams (RRT) in Prey Slek village revealed that the girl came into direct contact with sick and dead chickens in her village.
The 20th case, a 2-year-old girl from Trapaing Chrab village, Thmey commune, Thek Chhou district in Kampot province confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza on 16th September by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. The child developed fever on 11th September. On 12th September, her parents sought treatment for her in a local village clinic. The child’s condition worsened and on 14th September her parents sought treatment in a clinic in Kampot town. On 15th September, the child was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital with fever, dyspnea, somnolence, diarrhea, cough and a distended abdomen. Laboratory samples were taken and Tamiflu administered on 16th September 2013. The child died on 17th September.
The child went to her neighbor’s house, with her mother, to ‘watch’ villagers prepare a meal from chickens that had died earlier. The villagers also shared the meal with the girl’s family.
The Ministry of Health’s RRTs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery’s Animal Health Task Force are working together closely in Prey Slek village in Takeo and Trapaing Chrab village in Kampot to investigate and implement control measures. The RRTs are trying to identify the cases’ close contacts, any epidemiological linkage among the 20 cases and initiate preventive treatment as required.The Animal Health Task Force is investigating cases of poultry deaths in the villages.Compare this report with WHO's September 19 statement about the 18 latest MERS cases in Saudi Arabia. Imagine MERS reports that listed the specific symptoms, the progress of the cases before hospitalization, the patients' neighbourhoods, and the response of the Saudi MOH in checking out those neighbourhoods.
Granted, the sources of H5N1 infections are known, unlike those of MERS, so the Saudis can't be faulted for failing to describes patients' recent diet. Still, a consistent format for disease-outbreak news stories would be welcome.