Bird Flu Outbreak Confirmed in Cambodia

Cambodia reports second avian influenza case in February 2023
Cambodia bird flu
by Engin Akyurt
Phnom Penh (Precision Vaccinations News)

According to local media, there have been two confirmed cases of bird flu recently reported by the Kingdom of Cambodia.

On February 24, 2023, BNO News reported the father of an 11-year-old Cambodian girl who recently died of H5N1 bird flu had tested positive for the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HAPI) virus.

According to the Cambodian Ministry of Health, the girl is the first person to die of H5N1 since 2014.

Dr. Seng Panharith, the director of the Prey Veng Provincial Health Department, stated the 49-year-old man was taken to an area hospital after testing positive for the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HAPI) A(H5N1) virus.

This man is currently asymptomatic.

The Ministry of Health added that bird flu has been endemic in Cambodia since 2005, with a total of 57 infections and 38 deaths.

It remains unknown how the girl was infected on or before February 16, 2023, but all chickens and ducks at her home had recently died. 

Panharith Seng, director of the Prey Veng provincial health department, told VOA Khmer on February 23, 2023, that chickens and ducks found in the area where the girl lived had recently died of the H5N1 virus.

As of February 2, 2023, the World Health Organization reported 240 cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus from four countries within the Western Pacific Region since January 2003.

Of these cases, 135 were fatal. 

Globally, seven human influenza A H5N1 infections were reported in Ecuador, China, Vietnam, the U.K., Spain (2), and Colorado during 2022-2023.

Bird Flu (Avian influenza) is a disease caused by influenza type A viruses that occur naturally among birds and domestic poultry. The current HAPI outbreak has impacted more than 200 million birds, most in Europe and the U.S.

Since January 2022, 47 states have reported a loss of over 58 million birds as of February 21, 2023.

Additionally, bird flu infections have been confirmed by numerous countries in various mammals, such as bears, foxes, and seals, during this HAPI outbreak.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) update for February 10, 2023, includes 121 HAPI H5N1 detections in mammals.

In the event of a bird flu outbreak that evolves into human-to-human transmissions, the U.S. government has already approved the Audenza™ vaccine.

The U.S. National Influenza Vaccine Modernization Strategy and the American Pandemic Preparedness Plan outlined U.S. priorities in March 2022.

Regarding international travel, the U.S. CDC had not issued a travel alert regarding Cambodia's bird flu outbreak as of February 24, 2023.

Feb. 26, 2023 - This case was determined to be Clade avian influenza virus, which has been endemic in Southeast Asia for about 10 years and is not related to the current version of HAPI.

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee

Article by
Donald Hackett