Bird flu kills Cambodian girl

April 15, 2007

A new outbreak of bird flu has killed a teenage girl in Cambodia.

The girl, 13, died in the Kampong Cham province bordering Vietnam where cases of bird flu have surged again in recent months, the news service Xinhua reported Saturday.

The girl died April 5 after cooking and eating a sick chicken from her backyard, officials said. More than 100 ducks and chickens from around her farm have since been killed after some birds tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

The girl's case is believed to be isolated and no other people in the area have been affected by the virus. Her death has prompted the government to launch a week-long bird flu awareness campaign.

Cambodia has been praised by the United Nations for its rapid response against bird flu. But the virus could go undetected in the many small family farms where most of Cambodia's poultry are bred and raised, said UN officials.

Since 2003, the H5N1 bird flu strain has infected more than 290 people and killed 171, mostly in Southeast Asia, said the World Health Organization.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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