The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that increasing human cases of bird flu is “alarming”.
According to the news agency AFP, on Friday, the WHO issued this statement after the death of an eleven-year-old girl infected with the virus in Cambodia.
Cambodia’s health ministry said the dead girl’s father had also tested positive for the virus, raising concerns that bird flu could be transmitted from person to person.
Sylvie Briand, director of the WHO’s pandemic and preparedness program, said her agency was in close contact with authorities in Cambodia and that people close to the girl who died had been tested.
At a press conference in Geneva, the director of the WHO said that “at this time it would be premature to say that it spread from one person to another or that all infected people were part of the special environment where the virus was.”
It is rare for the virus to be found in humans; usually people who come into direct contact with infected birds get bird flu.
In late 2021, when the virus spread worldwide and killed tens of millions of chickens, a large number of wild birds died as a result. The virus later spread to other mammals.
“The global spread of bird flu is alarming because it is now being found in birds and humans worldwide,” the WHO director said.
He said that WHO takes this threat seriously and calls on the governments of all countries of the world to keep an eye on it.
He said that the death rate of this virus in humans is 50%.