The pandemic influenza virus has its primary origin in avian influenza viruses. The virus subtype H5N1 is highly pathogenic and already panzootic in poultry, which affected the economy. It continues to spread at a faster pace than expected and has infected not just mammals but humans as well. The outcomes are fatal, which has raised concern among many people. One such BNN world news that grabbed the reader’s attention is from Cambodia. The officials of Cambodia have reported the death of an 11-year-old girl in Cambodia from bird flu.
The death of an 11-year-old girl is the first death since 2014 due to the human infection virus H5N1. The girl belonged to Prey Veng. She was a rural woman from the southeastern province who got sick on February 16 and was immediately sent for treatment in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. She was diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday after exhibiting symptoms such as a fever of up to 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), constant throat pain, and a persistent cough. The health minister shared the news of her death on the same night to alert people about this virus.
Know more about bird flu and the panic it is creating.
Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, typically spreads in poultry and was not a threat to humans until an outbreak in 1997 among Hong Kong visitors. Since 1997, many human deaths have occurred around the world, demonstrating how the virus spreads when humans come into contact with infected poultry. However, now the concerns have increased more than before as the virus is spreading in an aggravated way and infecting mammals and humans.
What do the statistics have to say?
From 2003 to 2014, Cambodia had 56 H5N1 human cases recorded.37 of these cases were fatal. All across the world, there are nearly 870 human infections, and 457 deaths are reported in 21 countries to the world health Organization. However, the pace may have slowed, but it has not completely stopped. In the last seven years, this virus has caused 170 infections and nearly 50 deaths.
Health officials issued the following statement:
After the shocking death of an 11-year-old girl, people are quite worried about the outbreak of this virus. However, before making any further statements, health officials are testing the sample from the dead girl. It is believed that she was staying close to a conservation area, which made her more susceptible to the risk. Mam Bunheng, the Cambodian Health Minister, has issued a warning about the bird flu being at high risk, especially among kids. The minister has told us to control the kids’ moments and activities, such as getting in contact with the poultry or cleaning the cages of the birds.
H5N1 infection causes the same symptoms as other flu, such as aches, coughs, and fever. There have also been serious cases recorded where patients have developed life-threatening pneumonia. Earlier this month, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed concern about avian influenza infections spreading quickly among mammals such as sea lions, otters, foxes, and minks. He even warned about the spread of this virus, which has been affecting birds and poultry for over 25 years.
Another BNN world news was in Latin America and the Caribbean of a 9-year-old girl in Ecuador who was diagnosed with a human infection but was treated with antiviral medication. The World Health Organization is assessing the risk of bird flu spread to humans. May the soul of a girl who passed away rest in peace, and may her family get the strength to overcome this phase.