Health

Disease Outbreak Has Killed More Than 50 Children Since April, Officials Say

Cambodian health officials say a disease that has killed more than 50 children since April has been potentially identified as a deadly virus.

People with their small children are waiting out side Kuntha Bopha hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
People with their small children are waiting out side Kuntha Bopha hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer

Cambodian health officials say a disease that has killed more than 50 children since April has been potentially identified as a deadly virus.

According to lab results, Enterorvirus 71, which can cause hand, foot and mouth disease, or HFMD, has been identified as the cause of death for a “significant proportion” of those tested, according to officials from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

Health Minister Mam Bunheng said in a statement more investigation was ongoing.

Sok Touch, director of the communicable disease program at the Ministry of Health, said officials still do not know what caused the outbreak.

Health officials say more study is needed for the results to be conclusive.

Fever, poor appetite, malaise and sore throat are all symptoms of the disease. Within a day or two after onset of fever, painful sores develop in the mouth that can turn into ulcers.

“A person with HFMD may not have symptoms, or may have only the rash or only mouth ulcers,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

“HFMD virus is contagious and infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with nose or throat discharge, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool or infected persons. Infected persons are most contiguous during the first week of the illness, but the period of communicability can last for several weeks. HFMD is not transmitted from pets or other animals.”

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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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