The third case of measles in Cambodia this year was confirmed in a statement released by national and international health officials on Thursday—just over a year after the World Health Organization announced that the viral disease had been eradicated in the country.
The latest case was detected in a 1-year-old boy at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh early last month, while the two previous cases were identified in January, according to the statement, which was issued jointly by the WHO, Health Ministry and Unicef.
“The measles that was recently found in Cambodia is from a neighboring country,” Ork Vichit, manager of the ministry’s National Immunization Program, said by telephone on Thursday.
He said the strain of measles found in the infant was common in Vietnam but that the child was from Takeo’s Bati district—where one of the January cases was detected and which borders Kompong Speu province’s Kong Pisei district, to which the other was traced.
Shafiqul Hossain, a WHO immunization program technical officer, said measles could easily return to a country where it had previously been eliminated, as it was highly contagious and can infect a host before a rash makes the disease visible.