PHNOM PENH, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Two more new human cases of avian influenza have been confirmed for the H5N1 virus in Cambodia, bringing the number of the cases to 16 so far this year, a joint statement by the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry said Tuesday.
The statement said that one case is a nine-year-old boy from northwestern Battambang Province, who was admitted to the Jayavarman VII Hospital in Siem Reap with fever, cough, vomit, abdominal pain and dyspnea on Aug. 4, and was confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza on Friday last week.
"The boy is currently in a stable condition," the statement said.
The other case is a five-year-old girl from Southern Kandal Province, who was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh on Friday last week with fever, cough, sore throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea and dyspnea, and she was confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza a day later.
"The girl was treated with Tamiflu and is currently in a critical condition," it said.
The two patients have touched dead or sick poultry before they became sick, the statement said.
Avian influenza H5N1 remained a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said.
"Children also seem to be most vulnerable and are at high risk because they like to play where poultry are found," he said in the statement.
"I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry and make sure children wash their hands with soap and water after any contact with poultry."
H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans, the statement said, adding that it is a very serious disease that requires hospitalization.
Cambodia sees the worst outbreak of the virus this year since the disease was first identified in 2004. To date, the country has recorded 37 human cases of the virus, killing 28 people. This year, only five out of the 16 cases survived.
Globally since 2003, there have been 636 laboratory confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus with 377 related deaths, the statement said.