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Cholera Suspected in Six Kratie Deaths

At least six villagers have died and dozens fallen ill from severe diarrhea and vomiting in a suspected cholera outbreak in Kratie province, authorities said Friday.

The outbreak occurred in two villages of Chet Borey district, a remote area far from the provincial capital, said Choung Seang Hak, chief of Kratie provincial police.

At least 53 people were being treated at the provincial hospital while “several dozen” others were being treated in their villages, Sanday, Treap and Village 105, in Thmei commune, he said.

Ou Pilay, chief of the provincial hospital, said six people died from serious diarrhea and vomiting suspected from cholera, causing worries of an epidemic.

“The patients have the conditions of chest pressure, difficulty breathing, and have indigestion” caused by dirty drinking water, he said. A lack of hygiene and high temperatures also contributed, he said.

Villagers were treated with anti-bacterial medication, and the conditions of some have improved, he said.

Around 20 medical officers and several dozen civil servants, police and military police are staying in the villages to investigate the cause of the outbreak, the officials said. Six ambulances were also on standby in the villages.

Authorities are searching the homes of villagers for signs of the disease and have urged anyone sick to seek out the medical teams.

Choung Seang Hak said the “cholera epidemic” was now under control and no further deaths were reported.