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Bird flu infections in humans ‘still rare’ despite Cambodian girl’s death

Human cases of bird flu are being monitored around the world.

Concern has been raised around the globe after the suicide of an 11-year old girl from Cambodia and confirmation that her father is also affected.

It could form a cluster. Local media reported that a few other people have been tested.

However, this doesn’t mean that the H5N1 virus is now transmitting between humans.


The family had chickens and ducks that all died recently.

Although the source of the infection is still being investigated by health authorities, there are high suspicions that the virus has spread to birds.

Image Foxes and otters have been infected by the virus in the UK

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), H5N1 is responsible for at least 870 deaths and 457 cases of human illness since 1997.

Many people have been in direct contact with infected poultry. The WHO has just released a new assessment that shows the risk of human transmission to humans is very low.

Jonathan Ball, Professor of molecular virusology at Nottingham University, stated that this was a sad outcome for the young girl who had been infected by an aggressive form of avian flu or ‘bird influenza’.

“Human infections are rare and the risk of human-to-human transmission is low.”

However, the virus is evolving.

Continue reading:

A girl in Cambodia dies of bird flu. Health officials have confirmed that

Bird flu has spread to mammals in the UK

According to the UK Health Security Agency, the latest technical briefing about H5N1 states that it has been subjected to genetic changes that “provide an edge for mammalian infection”, placing the current UK risk at level 3.

The spread of H5N1 in northern Spain was almost certain to have occurred through a mink farm.

The virus has also infected other mammals such as foxes in the UK and otters elsewhere in the world.

It is possible that the virus will mutate further and infect more people.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director General, has warned that any changes in the status quo must be prepared for.

It would be foolish for us to ignore animal viruses as the COVID pandemic demonstrated.

Professor Ball said that although the risk to humans remains low, it is important to continue monitoring flu activity in bird and mammal populations. We must also do all we can to reduce the incidence of the disease.

“It also highlights the importance of cross-reactive vaccine development for next-generation generations.”


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