Amid the bird flu outbreak, a girl in Cambodia reportedly died from the infection about a week after getting sick.

The Associated Press learned Thursday that an 11-year-old girl died from bird flu at a hospital in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, Wednesday night.

Citing local health officials, the outlet reported that the girl was from the rural southeastern province of Prey Veng. She reportedly got sick on Feb. 16 and was sent to the hospital for treatment.

However, after her diagnosis early Wednesday, the girl suffered a fever of up to 102 Fahrenheit (39 Celsius). She also had a cough and throat pain before she died hours later.

The identity of the girl was not disclosed. But she was said to be the country’s first known human H5N1 infection since 2014.

Health authorities took samples from a dead wild bird at a conservation area near the girl’s residence. They also warned locals against touching dead and sick birds.

Cambodia had 56 cases of human infection from 2003 to 2014, and 37 of them were fatal, based on data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Following the report on the latest fatality, Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng warned that children are at a high risk of contracting bird flu when they feed, collect eggs and play with the birds or clean their cages.

In the U.S., the bird flu outbreak has killed millions of birds. Last November, the country already recorded the deadliest flare-up when the avian flu killed around 50 million birds. But the issue continued to get worse in the succeeding months.

Based on the latest figures, the virus has already killed 58 million poultry and wild birds. The alarming number and the spread of the bird flu in mammals prompted some to worry about humanity’s safety.

Avian influenza is known to typically infect birds. Public health officials insisted that it poses little threat to humans because the virus does not infect humans even if it is highly contagious to birds.

But historically, the virus has infected hundreds of people. A WHO report revealed that a total of 240 cases of human infection had been recorded since January 2003; 135 of them were fatal, suggesting a 56% case fatality rate.

It also hasn’t been that long since another fatality was reported. The last recorded fatality before the Cambodian girl was from China. The patient’s onset date was Sept. 22, 2022, while their death date was Oct. 18, 2022.

Jeremy Farrar, a flu expert and outgoing director of the Wellcome Trust, talked about the H5N1 outbreak at a London briefing last week, saying the scientific community should make more vigorous actions in containing the issue before it gets worse.

“You would hate to look back in the midst of an H5N1 pandemic and say: ‘Hold on, didn’t we watch this avian population die all over the world and we started to see mammals dying and what did we do about it?” Farrar said.

Bird Flu (5)
Health workers pack dead chickens into trash bins at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong December 31, 2014. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu