July 8th, 2012
02:53 AM ET

Officials make break in baffling disease killing Cambodian children

Health officials say they have made an important discovery in the mystery surrounding the deaths of more than 60 children in Cambodia.

The Institut Pasteur in Cambodia tested samples taken from 24 patients and found 15 had tested positive for Enterovirus Type 71.

"These results now give a good explanation to this outbreak," Dr. Philippe Buchy, head of the institute's virology unit, said in an e-mail. "We will get more results hopefully by next Tuesday or Wednesday."

In milder cases, EV71 can cause coldlike symptoms, diarrhea and sores on the hands, feet and mouth, according to the journal Genetic Vaccines and Therapy.

But more severe cases can cause fluid to accumulate on the brain, resulting in polio-like paralysis and death.

There is no effective antiviral treatment for severe EV71 infections, and no vaccine is available.

Adults' well-developed immune systems usually can fend off the virus, but children are vulnerable to it, according to the CDC.

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Filed under: Cambodia • World
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. rascal rabble

    North Cambodians or South Cambodians?

    July 8, 2012 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Who am I?

    We have doctors working on this as well as hiv as well as several other things several groups on many things get it? So lets keep it civil and not bang on this topic

    July 8, 2012 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Who am I?

    Oh by the way does it matter nth or sth cam bodia ?no it does not

    July 8, 2012 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. carbide scribe

    So find out what part of the adult immune system fights off the enterovirus and use that for children.

    July 8, 2012 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Zipwizard

      The adults have hormones different than children. That means children might have to take something like birth control pills, in order for an adult immune response to medicine.

      They probably have to find another way. Five year olds in puberty seems a bit drastic...but it if it saves lives, they may have to try.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      ...let the plannedparenthooddog drink his on poison...

      July 8, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Hey, that's great news if you are a Cambodian, particularly.
    If you are an American living in the deep south, you would probably be more interested in hearing about headway being made understanding and dealing with CHAGA DISEASE that has infected millions, but only in the deep south.
    We know that due to the earth warming, a tropical disease has reached US. but's that's about all we know. We know about as much about chagas disease as we know about africanized killer bees when it comes to dealing with what our pollution has done to US.
    WE SPEND MORE TIME AND ENERGY ARGUING ABOUT WHAT CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING than we do discussing and dealing with the devastating plagues upon US THAT HAVE BEEN UNLEASHED BY OUR OWN POLLIUTION.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • phunk

      Yea its called eliminating the cause vs focusing on the symptoms.

      July 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    We roll in our own luxuriant dung as it kills US. Luxuries our grandchildren have been tasked with paying for. Public debts that go unpaid year after year, decade after decade, with each generation charging the next generations with the task of repaying.
    We enjoy the fruitage of our yet to be done labor of our very own grandchildren. We don't even allow our kids to deliver newspapers anymore! We even took THAT job away from them.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Chit

      "We roll in our own luxuriant dung"??? Who SAYS that??

      July 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rascal Rabble

    moderate thyself cnn...

    July 8, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Aw, the poor kids...here's hopeing that they develope a cure for them soon...

    July 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • phunk

      Know how we all know you're not banasy? He doesn't make spelling errors.

      July 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Hi, phunk.
      Yep, it's me...I was laughing at something, and I didn't double check...
      I realize I misspelled 'hoping' and 'develop', but it's me all the same.
      I'm a she, btw.
      Thanks for having my back, even if it's from...myself! ;)

      July 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rascal Rabble

    why? whyyyyy? y? are they tolerating your comments and not myyyyyy-ine?

    July 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary Beth

    I dont know any of you people but theres a message for most of you from someone named Chrissy on the syria blog.

    July 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    We wish!!!

    July 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |