Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Impure water sickens 21 in Kratie district

Impure water sickens 21 in Kratie district

Impure water sickens 21 in Kratie district

HEALTH officials treating 21 people for severe diarrhoea and vomiting in Kratie province’s Chet Borey district – where five people died of cholera in March – said Thursday that they thought unclean water was responsible for the new outbreak of illness.

District Governor Toun Ngork said the illness began spreading through the district on Wednesday, and that an investigation by local officials had proved that bad water was the cause.

“They went to their rice fields after the rain and they drank the water in the lake and puddle nearby without boiling it, and they didn’t think about their health,” he said, referring to the sick villagers. “Health officials and myself often educate them to be careful with hygiene and to drink boiled water, but they don’t listen to us. That’s why they still get diarrhoea.”

Chhneang Vutha, deputy director of the provincial hospital, concurred with this assessment.

“They have diarrhoea and vomiting because they don’t pay enough attention to hygiene; they drank uncooked water and bad food,” he said. “They are not cholera cases.”

He added, though, that tests would be run on samples from the sick patients, some of whom are being treated at the hospital, to confirm the cause of illness.

Laboratory tests revealed that cholera caused five deaths in the same district in March. Around 200 people, 70 of whom were admitted to hospital, displayed symptoms of cholera during the week the tests results came back.

Initially, health officials blamed bad hygiene for the outbreak, and they were reluctant to comment on the presence of cholera in the district even after it had been confirmed, citing concerns that press coverage of the disease might negatively affect tourism.

Dr Nima Asgari, public health specialist at the World Health Organisation, said Thursday that tests should be conducted on the new group of sick villagers, noting that cholera “can be transferred by food or water”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group