Two Cholera Cases Confirmed In Kratie; Too Few for Alarm

Two of the now 266 cases of se­vere diarrhea in Kratie province have been confirmed by the Health Ministry as resulting from cholera, a number too low to be cause for alarm, according to the World Health Organization.

Since March 18, five people have died in Chet Borei district’s Thmei commune due to severe diarrhea. But Dr Sok Touch, director of com­­municable disease control at the Health Ministry, said laboratory results had not concluded whe­ther their deaths were due to cholera.

“Only two cases have been confirmed, and the rest have not come back yet,” Dr Touch.

Chhneang Sovutha, deputy di­rector of the Kratie provincial health department, said the total number of severe diarrhea cases admitted to the Thmei commune health center reached 266 yesterday, with 85 cases considered serious and sent to the provincial referral hospital.

Seventy-four of the patients have been treated and returned home, he added.

“Since we started intervening [on March 24], no villager has died and the number of villagers with diarrhea has reduced a lot,” Mr Sovutha said.

Although the provincial department was aware of the confirmation of cholera in two of the cases, Mr Sovutha said it was hesitant of telling residents, as it would cause panic.

“They are minorities, they will move away from their villages, and it would be hard to find new land for them,” Mr Sovutha said. “We have enough medicine to treat the patients.”

Dr Pieter van Maaren, WHO country representative, said de­spite the confirmation of cholera and the rising number of cases of watery diarrhea, the Health Min­istry is capable of managing the   situation.

“There is no reason to think we are on the verge of a disaster,” he said, adding the Health Ministry has effective rapid response teams, awareness programs and enough medication for the situation.

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.