AN 11-year-old girl from Cambodia has died from bird flu – the first person to die of the bug since 2014.

While bird flu typically affects poultry and wild birds, it can be transmitted to mammals, including humans.

Fears have been raised in recent weeks due to the "unprecedented" current outbreak, that has seen a wide range of mammals – including otters and foxes – infected since October last year.

The girl, from the rural province of Prey Veng, in south-eastern Cambodia became ill on 16 February, health officials have said.

She was diagnosed with the bug on Wednesday afternoon, after experiencing a fever op to 39C and coughing – she died shortly afterwards.

A new report found that 53 per cent of humans who have caught the H5N1 strain of avian influenza since 2003 have died from the disease. 

Dr Quinton Fivelman PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at London Medical Laboratory, is calling on Government's to step up precautions.

He said: "We’re becoming used to outbreaks of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, generally known as avian or bird flu, in UK poultry farms.

"We must not let familiarity mean we become content with this situation.

"The fact that it is now spreading to mammals across the globe shows we cannot let our guard down against the spread of this virus."

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What are the symptoms of bird flu in humans?

The main symptoms of bird flu can appear very quickly and include:

  • a very high temperature or feeling hot or shivery
  • aching muscles
  • headache
  • a cough or shortness of breath

Other early symptoms may include:

  • diarrhoea
  • sickness
  • stomach pain
  • chest pain
  • bleeding from the nose and gums
  • conjunctivitis

Source: The NHS

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