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Cambodian Girl Dies from Bird Flu

PHNOM PENH - A five-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, in the first reported fatality from the virus since early last year.

The girl fell ill in the capital Phnom Penh on January 30 and was taken to hospital with symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath, a joint statement from Cambodia and the UN's public health arm said. She died on February 4.

"Despite intensive medical care, the girl died 12 hours after admission from complications," it said.

The child is the 11th person in the country to become infected with the H5N1 virus and ninth to die since 2003.

Cambodia said it was working to identify her close contacts and "to initiate preventive treatment as required".

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng urged people with respiratory infections who had been in "contact with dead or sick poultry to promptly seek medical attention".

According to the statement, the H5N1 avian influenza strain has killed more than 300 people worldwide since 2003.

Image: Mills Baker / via Flickr

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