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Doctors baffled by sudden deaths

Doctors baffled by sudden deaths

A hospital director in Pursat believes polluted water may have caused the deaths of two children and an older relative within a week of each other.

On the night of March 11, a 3-year-old boy living with his family in a remote forest area of Phnom Kravanh district’s Samrong commune suddenly came down with a fever, and died within an hour, provincial hospital director Chan Sokha said yesterday.

On the seventh day of the boy’s funeral, a 58-year-old relative living in the same house went to the hospital with a fever, and also died about an hour later, Sokha said. The boy’s 2-year-old sister died the same way that night.

“They got high fevers and died instantly within days of each other,” Sokha said. “They use a water canal near their house every day – it’s not clean water. I believe [their deaths] are related to sanitation, but we cannot yet say.”

Phou Phoung Sothea, Pursat coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said that while was not familiar with the case, the waters could have been tainted by pesticides sprayed by a company operating nearby.

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