More than 40 students at Bun Rany Hun Sen Speu High School in Kampong Cham province’s Chamkar Leu district fainted from late June to early July, some from a lack of air and some from low blood sugar.

Chea Eakchhay, director of Chamkar Leu operational district health centre, told The Post on July 6 that the incidents occurred from June 29 to July 5.

Eakchhay said that on June 29, five students fainted, seven more passed out on July 1, four on July 2 and seven on July 4. There were 15 more cases on July 5, a total of 44 students, all of whom were female.

“There are several factors behind the phenomena. Some appear to be an emotional reaction to the first fainting, which was suffered by a student with a history of heart disease. Some had not eaten breakfast or not had enough sleep due to studying especially hard. Finally, maintenance work on National Road 71C has generated a lot of dust, which has led to a reduction in air quality,” he noted.

He said there had been no more fainting as of July 6. Eight of the students had been hospitalised at the district referral hospital, while the others had been allowed to return home.

He advised all students to make sure they have enough sleep and eat nutritious food. He also suggested suspending classes at the school until the air quality had been restored.

Provincial governor Un Chanda visited the school on July 5 to investigate the incidents and see what measures could be taken to prevent further fainting.

He said the causes of each case were different, some appeared to be nervous reactions and some may have been caused by exhaustion.

“Our medical team determined that some were over-tired and some were hungry. The majority were psychological, which means that there is no simple medical response,” he said.

He said specialists were investigating to see what could be done about the problem.

“A provincial working group and food inspectors are compiling a detailed report into the issue and will offer suggestions about how to end this series of faintings,” he said.