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Medical Mystery Takes a Toll on Cambodian Children

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

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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