Cambodia on July 2 announced this year’s 9 th victim of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza and warned the deadly virus would still pose a serious threat to Cambodian people.

According to a joint statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Cambodia’s Health Ministry, the victim was a six-year-old girl from the country’s southwestern province of Kampot.

Admitted to hospital on June 28 showing symptoms of fever, cough and breathing difficulties, she has her test confirmed to have contracted the H5N1 virus. The girl was then treated with Tamiflu, but died on July 1.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza remains a serious threat to all Cambodians, especially children. This is the 13th case of H5N1 infection in humans this year, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said in the statement.

Cambodia sees the worst outbreak of the virus this year since the disease was first identified in 2004.

To date, the country has recorded 34 human cases of the virus, of whom 28 were fatal.

Globally since 2003, the A/H5N1 virus took the lives of 376 people, according to WHO statistics.

Meanwhile, FAO warned that the virus remains lingering in Asia and the Middle East and would be spread worldwide like it did in 2006.

The virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact.-VNA