PHNOM PENH, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- A 2-year-old boy from northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey was infected with avian influenza H5N1 virus, Cambodia's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization announced Friday.
The patient is currently in "critical condition" in Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap province.
The boy became sick on Jan. 3 with fever, cough, runny nose and vomiting, the statement said, adding that he was initially treated by local private practitioners, but his conditions worsened and he was admitted to Angkor Hospital for Children on Jan. 9.
"The diagnosis of the clinical samples on Jan. 12 found that the boy had contact with sick or dead poultry prior to becoming sick," it said.
The boy is the nineteenth person in Cambodia to become infected with the fatal H5N1 virus, and the first such victim this year, said the statement. Of all the nineteen cases, 16 died.
"Avian influenza is still a threat to the health of Cambodians. This is the first case of H5N1 infection in human this year, and children appear to be most vulnerable," the Minister of Health Mam Bunheng said in the statement.