Officials Report 30 More Cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea in Ratanakkiri

Death Toll Still Stands at Six in Province

Ratanakkiri province health officials said yesterday they have identified another 30 people suffering from acute watery diarrhea in the province, adding that initial field reports last week had underestimated the scope of the dangerous bacterial infections.

Acute watery diarrhea has infected 92 indigenous minority villagers in the districts of O’Chum and Voeun Sai since April 10, six of whom have died.

Hoy Vannara, deputy director of the Ratanakkiri provincial department of health, said that in Voeun Sai district 32 villagers had been infected since the outbreak began on April 10 and in O’Chum district the number stood at 60 people.

A total of 58 people were sent to the provincial hospital, Mr Vannara said. “Most people had serious diarrhea, but after treating them at the Referral Hospital they are feeling better and some of them returned home,” he said.

Mr Vannara said on Friday that two villagers had died in O’Chum district and another four people had died in Voeun Sai district on April 10. At the time he also said a total of 56 cases of acute watery diarrhea had been identified and 19 villagers had been hospitalized.

Mr Vannara claimed yesterday that the situation in the two districts now appeared to be under control, adding that officials were waiting for the results of tests sent to the Ministry of Health in Phnom Penh to determine the type of bacterial infection that villagers were suffering from.

“We can control the situation, but it’s not 100 percent quiet,” he said, adding, “We worry these cases are cholera cases…[but] we haven’t received the test results yet.”

Hing Than Sakunthea, director of Ratanakkiri Provincial Referral Hospital, said many of the affected villagers had been severely weakened when they were admitted to the hospital for treatment.

“They had serious diarrhea and vomiting. They were unconscious when they reached the hospital,” he said, adding around 20 patients had fully recovered so far.

 

 

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