- PHNOM PENH (Reuters) -- Bird flu has killed a young girl in Cambodia, the
first human victim of the virus in the poor southeast Asian nation in almost
a year, while China said on Friday a woman in the city of Shanghai had
died from it.
- Jordan became the latest Middle East
country hit by an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus in poultry,
but said no people had been infected.
- Bird flu, which has spread from Asia
to the Middle East, Africa and Europe, remains essentially an animal disease
but can infect people who come into contact with sick poultry.
- Health experts fear the virus will mutate
enough to pass easily from person to person, sparking a pandemic in which
millions could die.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed
the cases, taking the known death toll from the virus to 105 since it re-emerged
in Asia in late 2003.
- Mon Puthy, aged 3, who lived in a village
in Kampong Speu province about 40 miles (60 km) west of Phnom Penh in Cambodia,
had been in contact with sick and dying chickens, officials said. She died
- Her death took Cambodia's human death
toll from bird flu to five. The country's last victim was a 20-year-old
woman who died in a Vietnamese hospital in April 2005.
- Seven other people in the village who
had either been in contact with the girl or sick poultry were showing some
signs of fever, although there was no cause for panic, local WHO spokeswoman
Megge Miller said.
- "It looks like another one of those
isolated incidents. There aren't any alarm bells at the moment," she
- Mon Puthy's 23-year-old mother, Choeun
Sok Ny, said she still had no idea what had killed her daughter, an indication
that bird flu public education campaigns in one of Asia's poorest nations
still have a long way to go.
- "Other children in the village played
with the dead chickens more than my loved one," she told Reuters by
telephone. "Why are they not sick, and why did my daughter die?"