Cambodian girl dies from bird flu: WHO

A six-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the World Health Organization said Monday, in the country's second fatality from the virus this year.

The child, from central Kampong Chhnang province, fell ill on March 22 and passed away on March 30, the WHO said in a joint statement with the Cambodian .

Hospital tests confirmed she had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

"There are reports that the patient had contact with sick or dead poultry prior to becoming sick," the statement said.

The girl is the 20th person in Cambodia to become infected with H5N1 virus since 2003. Eighteen of those cases have been fatal.

A two-year old boy became the country's first victim of 2012 when he succumbed to the virus in January.

Concerns about bird flu have risen in the region after China in late December reported its first fatality in 18 months.

The H5N1 strain has killed 353 people worldwide since 2003, according to WHO statistics.

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