Twenty-four new cases of EV-71 have been reported by executive health centres in Battambang province for the month of July alone, with three of the patients in a serious condition requiring hospitalisation, health officials said yesterday.
Meas Maisak, chief of Sampov Loun district health centre and deputy chief of Sampov executive district health office, said that 24 children between one and 10 years of age, had symptoms of EV-71 in Sampov Loun, Phnom Phrek and Kam Rieng districts.
“They have rashes and blisters on arms, legs and mouth, with a high fever, but none of them have died,” Maisak said.
“We are paying much attention to them,” he said. However, he added that three of them were in serious condition, with fevers between 38 degrees and 40 degrees, and were sent to Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap last week.
“[The other cases] have been quarantined, but some returned home after getting treatment, because we do not have enough space for them [at the executive health centre],” Maisak said.
Chea Kimnieng, health officer at Sampov executive district health office, said that people are aware of the disease in the wake of a public announcement.
“We urge parents to hurry to send their children to health centres when they suspect the disease,” he said.
WHO country director Pieter Van Maaren told the Post this week that while EV-71 has been known since 1969, testing for the virus had not occurred in Cambodia before the recent unexplained child deaths.
As investigations continue, the case fatality ratio – currently 56 deaths out of a now 85 case tally – will drop as more non-fatal cases are recorded, Van Maaren said.
Officials from the Ministry of Health could not be reached for comment.