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libstaK

Mystery Illness killing Cambodia's Children

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Hong Kong (CNN) -- The World Health Organization and Cambodian health officials are investigating why at least 61 children in the country have died mysteriously after suffering severe neurological and respiratory complications.

Dr. Beat Richner of the Kantha Bopha Children's Hospitals, who first alerted Cambodia's health authorities about the unknown disease, said that as of Friday he knew of 64 cases in which only two children have survived.

The Cambodian Ministry of Health said that 56 of the deaths were preceded by a common syndrome of fever and respiratory and neurological problems.

Seventy-four cases of the disease have been identified, the ministry said.

read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/06/world/asia/cambodia-children-disease/index.html?hpt=wo_c1

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It sounds eerily similar to the Spanish Flu of 1918. Most of the victims of that pandemic were young and healthy and died due to an overactive immune response to the virus. It's scary to contemplate such a pandemic today.

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Posted (edited)

This is horirble, hope they solve it soon and can save lives.

Edited by Coffey
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Posted (edited)

It sounds eerily similar to the Spanish Flu of 1918. Most of the victims of that pandemic were young and healthy and died due to an overactive immune response to the virus. It's scary to contemplate such a pandemic today.

Yes, I must admit this is a part of what made this story stand out for me.

Additionally, the fact that there are no "clusters" is disconcerting - the virus seems to have spread at will and randomly affected children through dispersed populations.

This does not bode well for containing the virus/cause or preventing it from spreading globally - they don't seem to have a grip on whether or not it could have spread globally, the containments suggested of "quarantining those with respiratory or flu like symptons" in Hong Kong is hardly a global response nor based on knowledge of what is causing the illness. Who says that any adult carrier/s have noticeable symptons? And what do they mean at all if they don't know what is causing this in the first instance?

They mention that they don't believe it is "contagious" ie: spread from person to person as a reason for the lack of clustering - if that is so, then WHAT is causing this?

Edited by libstaK
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This is the World Health Organisation's latest update on this dated 6/7/12

http://www.who.int/c...a/en/index.html

It's somewhat a relief that they can't identify it as influenza but it certainly ACTS like influenza. Respiratory and neurological distress and rapid death in the very young, whose immune systems should be the strongest. Situations like this make even me believe in conspiracy theories. After reading THE GREAT INFLUENZA a few years ago I actually had nightmares about what it would be like in our modern, highly mobile world that is so dependent on "just in time" supply of necessities of life. It's a prescription for an unbelievable tragedy.
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Just saw this, they seem to have an idea what's causing this but it's still kind of mysterious...http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/08/world/asia/cambodia-children-disease/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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Just saw this, they seem to have an idea what's causing this but it's still kind of mysterious...http://www.cnn.com/2....html?hpt=hp_t2

So Hand, Foot and Mouth disease with a possible unknown "toxic" agent. It is a relief that it is shaping up to be something known but the relatively recent outbreaks in the ME and China mentioned still suggest a certain "virulence".

Thanks for the update - and then :tu:

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There are certain countries in this world that are surely due a break, if there's a God or superpower with a conscience.

Cambodia is surely one of them.

:(

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There are certain countries in this world that are surely due a break, if there's a God or superpower with a conscience.

Cambodia is surely one of them.

:(

I agree, and Haiti is another one.
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Mystery illness in Cambodia solved, doctors say

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Danielle Dellorto, CNN

July 11, 2012

A combination of pathogens, disease-causing micro-organisms, is to blame for the illness, the World Health Organization, in conjunction with the Cambodian Ministry of Health, has concluded, the doctors said.

The pathogens include enterovirus 71, which is known to cause neurological disease; streptococcus suis, which can cause infections like bacterial meningitis in people who have close contact with pigs or with pork products; and dengue, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

The inappropriate use of steroids, which can suppress the immune system, worsened the illness in a majority of the patients, the doctors said. ... On the steroids issue, Tarantola said, "When you have a dying child, you try to use what you have at hand, and they were right to try that." But, he acknowledged, "from the cases we reviewed, almost all of the children died, and almost all of them had steroids."

Read more

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Pediatricians are doing us a diservice for not reporting this outbreak to the CDC. This isn't the normal coxsackie. It's a nastier strain than usual. It's in the NY metro area as well. For my family, it started as a 100-102 fever for 3 days with extreme malaise, diarhea, appetite loss, and headaches, and then progressed to 3-5 days of lesions in the mouth (and for me laryngitis), and an extremely bad cough.

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