Minister of Public Health MD Pradit Sinthawarong said the ministry was getting ready for H5N1 spread during the rainy season especially in children and the elderly who had weaker immune systems than other age groups. Although there was currently no report of H5N1 cases in the country, the minister said there were still risks that the disease would spread from Cambodia where H5N1 infections had been continuously found. The virus could be carried by cross border poultry, human travel and migration of wild birds, said the minister.
The Ministry of Public Health has instructed the Department of Disease Control and provincial public health offices to inspect the areas where bird flu outbreaks had been found as well as border provinces adjacent to Cambodia.
The latest avian influenza report showed that as of 8 July 2013 Cambodia had 14 H5N1 patients this year, nine of whom died.