Cambodia's Bird Flu Cases Unrelated to the USA
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported two (2) human infections with avian influenza A H5N1 (H5N1 bird flu) has been confirmed by the Cambodian Ministry of Health.
The CDC wrote on February 25, 2023, based on preliminary genetic sequencing, the Cambodian Ministry of Health has identified these cases as being from the H5 clade 188.8.131.52c, which have circulated locally among birds/poultry for many years.
This bird flu virus has resulted in rare sporadic human infections in the past, and these two cases are the first such infections reported in Cambodia since 2014.
Furthermore, the 184.108.40.206c virus in Cambodia differs from the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HAPI) H5N1 viruses currently circulating in wild birds and poultry in the United States and other countries, which are H5 clade 220.127.116.11b, known as the Eurasian version.
According to the Ministry of Health, these bird flu cases occurred in an 11-year-old girl, who died, and her father, who reported fever and cough, in Roleang village, Romlech commune, Sithor Kandal district, Prey Veng province.
No additional H5N1 cases have been identified, and there is no indication of person-to-person transmission.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported bird flu has been endemic in Cambodia since 2005, with a total of 57 infections and 38 related fatalities.
Seven human influenza A H5N1 18.104.22.168b infections were reported globally in Ecuador, China, Vietnam, the U.K., Spain (2), and Colorado during 2022-2023.
For the United States (U.S.), the ongoing outbreaks of HAPI 22.214.171.124b clade H5N1 bird flu in wild birds, poultry, and some mammals continued in late February 2023.
In the U.S., 47 states have been impacted, leading to the loss of over 58.49 million birds as of February 21, 2023.
However, the current risk to people from bird flu viruses remains low.
But it is important to remember that this severe health risk depends on exposure to infected birds or mammals.
It is possible that birds and mammals can be infected with bird flu viruses without always appearing sick.
The CDC reported some good news from the U.S. poultry industry, which has strict health and safety standards, including regular monitoring for bird flu.
Moreover, eating properly handled and cooked poultry and poultry products in the U.S. is safe. The proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F eliminate bacteria and viruses, including H5 viruses.
CDC has been actively working on the domestic H5N1 situation since the initial detection of H5N1 in U.S. wild birds and poultry in early 2022. This includes preparing for the possibility that H5N1 viruses circulating in birds in the United States and other countries gain the ability to infect and spread between people easily.
This includes ensuring that there are preventive vaccines available. But the CDC says seasonal flu vaccination will not prevent infection with bird flu viruses.
Precision Vaccinations post the latest bird flu vaccine news.