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Ear to the Ground

Medical Mystery Takes a Toll on Cambodian Children

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Posted on Jul 12, 2012
ana_omelete (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Medical professionals are puzzling over why a hand, foot and mouth disease has killed so many children in a relatively small outbreak in Cambodia.

Outbreaks have occurred in Vietnam, China, Japan, Singapore and Australia with mostly nonfatal consequences, but in Cambodia the disease has killed most of the children afflicted.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

MedPage Today:

According to the World Health Organization, the outbreak killed 52 of 59 affected children, but Phnom Penh pediatrician Beat Richner, MD, who first called attention to the outbreak, reported 66 cases, with just two survivors.

Either way, the case fatality rate is markedly higher than health officials have seen in Vietnam, where just 20 deaths in 10 provinces have been reported.

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