Acute Watery Diarrhea Kills Again in Mondolkiri Outbreak

Another man died from acute wa­tery diarrhea on Wednesday following an outbreak in Mondolkiri pro­vince’s Keo Seima district last week, health officials said yesterday. The latest death brings the re­ported fatalities from AWD or cho­lera to 64 nationwide since Novem­ber.

The victim, referred to as Blo­ung, 30, is the second person from Sre Preah commune to die from acute diarrhea, which has afflicted one or two people a day since last week, the dir­ector of Keo Seima health center Ngin Kim Seng said.

“First a Khmer man died and now in this case a Banong man died…. I am very concerned about this outbreak,” Mr Seng said, noting that five serious cases had recovered at the hospital.

Mr Bloung suffered from diarrhea and vomited blood then died on ar­rival at a hospital in neighboring Viet­nam. Previously the patient was re­leased from the provincial referral hospital after making an apparent recovery but relapsed two days later.

“We educate [villagers] to drink boiled water and defecate in a toilet to prevent diarrhea. But it is very difficult because we do not have toilets,” Mr Seng said, noting that most people drink straight from the river.

The local authority and health officials told villagers to immediately visit the health center in the case of diarrhea, district governor Sin Vanvuth said.

“When they follow our advice it will end. Right now the situation is better,” Mr Vanvuth said, adding that there are enough medical supplies to deal with the outbreak.

Acute watery diarrhea cases are up at least 50 percent compared to last year, according to the World Health Org­anization. Throughout Cambodia there were 87,000 cases between November and May compared to 100,000 in the whole of 2009.

With most deaths it is the same story of a patient getting to the health center too late, WHO public health specialist Dr Nima Asgari said.

“We need to make sure that people seek treatment so they do not die of dehydration,” Dr Asgari said.

From November to May 25, 423 confirmed cholera cases were found across eighteen provinces, according to the Department of Communicable Diseases website.

(Additional reporting by Alice Foster)


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