Cambodia is intensifying efforts to educate villagers in the country’s southwest about bird flu after the death of two Cambodians from the virus, officials said Tuesday.
Sok Touch, director of the health ministry’s communicable disease control department, said health workers have been delivering bird flu prevention messages to communities in Kampot province _ where the latest outbreaks occurred.
He said posters are being printed and health workers “are going house to house to deliver the message from bullhorns and tape players powered by battery and mounted on motorbikes.”
“They are telling people not to touch sick or dead birds and that if they have any suspected bird flu symptoms, such as fever and cough, they should go to the nearest health care centre,” Sok Touch said.
Cambodia and the World Health Organisation confirmed in a statement Tuesday that a man who died last week in Kampot was suffering from bird flu.
Last week, deputy Agriculture minister Yim Voeun Tharn identified the victim as Meas Ran, and said he died from the severe H5N1 strain of bird flu.
A 25-year-old woman from Kampot also died from bird flu on January 30 after being taken to a hospital in neighbouring Vietnam. Kampot is 130 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.
Samples taken from sick chickens in Kampot have tested positive for bird flu, the statement said, adding that the deceased Cambodian man had contact with sick poultry.
But 34 other people, including an 18-year-old boy thought to be another suspected case and medical staff who cared for Meas Ran, have tested negative for bird flu, it said.