Teen Becomes First in Cambodia to Survive Bird Flu

A 19-year old Cambodian man has survived the H5N1 bird flu virus which has killed seven other people in the poor Southeast Asian nation since 2005, a health ministry official said on Sunday.

The youth, who became infected after eating poultry, was discharged from a Phnom Penh hospital on Saturday after being treated for 10 days, Ly Sovann, deputy director of communicable disease control department, said.

"He left safe and sound," Ly Sovann told Reuters.

Cambodia began culling poultry near its capital last week, and ordered a 3-month ban on poultry being moved from the province of Kandal, 30 miles south of Phnom Penh, after tests confirmed it was hit by the deadly virus.

The young man, the eighth person in Cambodia to have contracted bird flu since its first case in 2005, fell ill on November 28 but was only confirmed as having bird flu on December 11.

Since H5N1 resurfaced in Asia in 2003 it has killed more than 200 people in a dozen countries, according to the WHO.

Experts fear the constantly mutating H5N1 virus could change into a form easily transmitted from person to person and potentially kill millions worldwide.