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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bird flu in Cambodia triggers alert

Authority in the Sisaket province of Thailand has issued an alert, warning of a potential outbreak of both the H7N9 and H5N1 avian flu strains in the region. Officials are notifying health care professionals across the province to be especially cautious about any flu-like symptoms discovered in patients, while confirming that those working in the field are fully versed on all procedures to address the situation.

Live bird markets considered a major concern.
There has yet to be any reported cases of either type of virus in Thailand, though the area of Cambodia which borders Sisaket has had several victims; five H5N1 cases have been reported in the last month alone, one of which resulting in death. This has caused Authority in Sisaket to take proactive measures, to prevent an epidemic before it has a chance to occur.

Researchers are also concerned that the number of cases could rise as winter approaches. H5N1 has already established seasonal patterns, and they fear if H7N9 does the same the entire continent could be adversely affected over the next few months.

Various strains of bird flu have been fostered and amplified in southeastern Asia, due largely to unsanitary conditions throughout the food preparation process. While H5N1 has been the most persistent (having remained a consistent threat since first reported in 1987), H7N9 is the most disconcerting for researchers. Discovered less than seven months ago, it is the first bird flu to accomplish human-to-human transmission; as of August 31st H7N9 has killed 45 people.

Photo source: Wikipedia

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