After a 12-year-old girl died from bird flu in Cambodia and over ten human cases and one more death were reported in the country, authorities in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia have issued alerts about a potential outbreak and what precautions are being taken to deal with the same.
The Thai Department of Disease Control (DDC) deputy director, Dr. Sopon Iamsirithaworn said that the DDC has been cooperating with the Cambodian government to limit the H5N1 virus transmission that has been found in some of its poultry.
Dr. Sopon also stated that the department will continue to closely monitor the situation in its neighboring country, “We have not detected bird flu in Thailand for 16 years, but we have never lowered our guard. We have preventive measures to monitor the disease.”
Vietnam’s Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City has also alerted residents living in the south of the country, which is close to the border between Vietnam and Cambodia.
The deputy director of the Pasteur Institute, Dr. Nguyen Vu Thong stressed that to stop a possible outbreak, the border areas should ramp up their surveillance of viral pneumonia and send samples of suspected cases to the institute for testing.
Director of the National Influenza Center of Cambodia and acting Head of Virology at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Mr. Erik Karlsson has said that a swift and well-coordinated response is required to contain the situation in the country and prevent any further spread.
Last week, the director of the World Health Organization’s epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention, Dr. Sylvie Briand described the situation as “worrying” following the current surge in H5N1 bird flu cases in birds and animals.
“WHO takes the risk from this virus seriously and urges heightened vigilance from all countries,” she said.
Although Laos also shares a border with Cambodia through its Southern provinces of Champasack and Attapeu, health authorities haven’t announced what measures are being taken to prevent a potential outbreak in the country.