Undiagnosed illness in Cambodia
4 July 2012 - The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia has notified WHO of an outbreak of an undiagnosed illness which has affected 62 children, of which 61 have died since April 2012.
The majority of cases were from the southern part of the country, and were hospitalised in a children's hospital in Phnom Penh. The symptoms observed are high fever, followed by respiratory and/or neurologic symptoms with rapid deterioration of respiratory functions.
WHO is working with the Ministry and other partners to investigate the outbreak, to identify the cause and source of the illness. Assistance is being provided in the area of field epidemiology and active case finding.http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_07_04/en/Undiagnosed illness in Cambodia - update
6 July 2012 - The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia is conducting active investigation into the cause of a recent undiagnosed syndrome that has caused illness and deaths among children in the country.
Preliminary findings of the investigation identified a total of 74 cases who were hospitalised from April to 5 July 2012. Of these, 57 cases (including 56 deaths), presented a common syndrome of fever, respiratory and neurological signs, which is now the focus of the investigation.
The majority of the identified cases to date were under three years old. Most of them were from the southern and central parts of the country and received treatment at Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital, which is a reference paediatric hospital. Despite all efforts, many of the children died within 24 hours of admission.
Available samples have been tested at the Institut Pasteur in Cambodia. Although a causative agent remains to be formally identified, all these samples were found negative for H5N1 and other influenza viruses, SARS, and Nipah.
The Ministry of Health was first alerted to this by Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital in Phnom Penh, where the majority of the cases were hospitalised.
The Ministry of Health notified WHO about this event through the IHR notification mechanism as it met the criteria for notification of any event where the underlying agent or disease or mode of transmission is not formally identified.
WHO and partners are assisting the Ministry of Health with this event which focuses on hospitalised cases, early warning surveillance data, laboratory data and field investigations.
While this event is being actively investigated, the Government is also looking at other diseases occurring in the country, including dengue, hand-foot-mouth and Chikungunya.
Parents have been advised to take their children to hospital if they identify any signs of unusual illness. The Government is also reinforcing awareness of good hygiene practices to the public, which includes frequent washing of hands. http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_07_06a/en/