Poipet Cholera Outbreak Ends

A cholera outbreak in the filthy western border town of Poipet is “finished,” Dr Mean Chhivun, de­puty director-general for the Min­istry of Health, said Tuesday. 

“If any new cases come up, we’ll let you know,” Mean Chhivun said, noting that no new cases were reported in the Poipet public health center last week.

The total suspected cholera deaths in Poipet has risen to 24 since an outbreak of the bac­­­­­­­­­­teria in mid-June, health work­­ers said Tuesday. One Thai health official, citing Cambodian health officials, was quoted earlier this month as saying the death toll was 30.

Dr Dominique Lapiere, chief medical officer for Medecins Sans Frontieres, said 108 suspected cholera sufferers came into the Poipet public health center between June 26 and Friday. Most were treated and released. None died, she reported.

More than 100 suspected cho­lera patients were treated in Poipet pub­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­lic health center before June 26. No one has died this month in the center, but cholera is suspected in two deaths in nearby villages.

Public health ­­workers and MSF employees are investigating surrounding areas for other unreported deaths, Lapiere said. “We are checking with the pagodas if they are reporting that they had to take care of people who died of diarrhea,” Lapiere said.

Cholera is a bacteria that contaminates water or food and is carried by internal body fluids.

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