Bird flu kills 9-year-old boy in Cambodia, country's 10th fatal victim this year

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A 9-year-old boy has become the 10th person this year to die of bird flu in Cambodia, the World Health Organization announced Monday.

The U.N. agency said the boy from a village in northeastern Battambang province came down with fever and vomiting on July 26 and was diagnosed with the H5N1 avian influenza virus on Aug. 9. In stable condition at first, he died late Sunday.

The statement said there had been recent deaths among chickens and ducks in his village, and that the boy had carried dead and sick poultry from a cage for food preparation by his sister before he became sick.

The virus normally spreads among poultry, but can sometimes spread from poultry to humans.

The 10 fatalities this year are the country's highest annual total since the virus surfaced in 2003, and also the highest for any country this year. There have been more than 633 confirmed cases of bird flu worldwide since 2003, about 60 per cent of them fatal.

Organizations: World Health Organization, U.N. agency

Geographic location: Cambodia, PHNOM PENH, Northeastern Battambang

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