Mystery disease kills 61 kids in Cambodia

July 5, 2012

(AP) — Health workers are trying to determine whether a mixture of known diseases or something new is responsible for killing more than 60 children in Cambodia over the past three months, a World Health Organization expert said.

The mystery disease has killed 61 of 62 children hospitalized since April, but there's no indication it is spreading from person to person. Patients suffer a high fever, followed by severe respiratory problems that progress quickly. Some also experience neurological symptoms.

"At this stage, we cannot rule out if this is a mixture of a number of known diseases (virological, bacterial or toxicological) which have been reported as one syndrome or something new," Dr. Nima Asgari of the WHO in Phnom Penh said in an email Thursday.

The patients reported were under 7 years old and spread across several provinces in southern and central Cambodia. However, work is being done to determine whether other age groups may also be affected, he said.

Health Ministry officials alerted WHO on July 1 after learning about the cases from a doctor at Kantha Bopha Children's Hospital in the capital. Many patients first visited local health facilities before coming to the city, and investigators are now trying to piece together those reports to determine more about their conditions and what treatments were given, Asgari said.

Explore further: Unknown disease kills 60 children in Cambodia: WHO


Related Stories

Vietnam, Cambodia report bird flu deaths

January 19, 2012

(AP) -- Vietnam on Thursday confirmed its first human death from bird flu in nearly two years, a day after neighboring Cambodia also logged its first fatality this year as new cases of the H5N1 virus are reported in Asia ...

Common virus kills nearly 100 children in Vietnam

September 10, 2011

(AP) -- The World Health Organization says an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease has surged in Vietnam, killing 98 children and sickening more than 42,000 others this year.

Vietnam reports 1st bird flu death in 2 years

January 19, 2012

(AP) -- Vietnam has recorded its first human bird flu death in nearly two years, and although the victim worked at a duck farm the H5N1 virus has yet to be found in poultry there, officials said Thursday.

Vietnam on alert as common virus kills 81 children

August 19, 2011

(AP) -- Vietnam's prime minister has put the country on alert as an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease continues to surge, killing 81 children and sickening more than 32,000 people nationwide so far this year, officials ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.