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Official fears cholera cases in Prey Veng

Official fears cholera cases in Prey Veng

SIX villagers in Prey Veng province have been stricken with an illness that one commune official said he believed to be cholera, although health officials have yet to hand down an official diagnosis.

The villagers from Reak Chey commune have suffered from intense diarrhoea and vomiting since Monday, commune chief Hong Sophal said.

“We have sent a man to Calmette Hospital [in Phnom Penh] because he is suffering, even though the doctors here have tried to help him,” he said.

The man’s daughter, Srun Vanthon, said her father’s condition has not improved since entering the hospital, and that doctors have not told her what is causing her father’s illness.

“He is still in bad condition,” she said. “I am worried about his life.”

Health officials have not confirmed the presence of cholera in the area.

Sambath Narin, the director of the health centre in Reak Chey, said he has not met with anyone complaining of similar symptoms.

“I cannot say it is cholera because I have not met with the patients,” he said. “Few people here have diarrhoea or are vomiting.”

Ly Sovann, deputy director of the Communicable Diseases Control Department at the Ministry of Health, said he also had not received reports of cholera outbreaks in Prey Veng.

The information comes after Vietnamese media reported that seven Cambodians infected with cholera were being treated in Vietnamese hospitals.

The report in Thanh Nien Daily said that the seven patients, all from Takeo and Kandal provinces, had been admitted to Vietnamese hospitals between January 19 and 28. A total of 45 people were first admitted with symptoms of “acute diarrhoea”, but the report did not specify whether any of the other patients were Cambodian. The report said the patients were being treated in An Giang, which borders Cambodia and is also home to an ethnic Khmer minority population.

In early January, Cambodian health officials warned citizens against a potential cholera outbreak.

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