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Indonesian Health Ministry wary of mystery illness in Cambodia

9th July 2012 | 3.826 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ministry of Health is wary of an undiagnosed illness that has claimed the lives of at least 50 Cambodian children.

Directorate General of Health Ministry Tjandra Yoga Aditama said the ministry had communicated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Cambodian Health Ministry about the mysterious disease. The three authorities also discussed the possibility of the disease spreading to other countries.

"Until now, we haven`t got comprehensive data from the WHO and the Cambodian Health Ministry. That`s why we still call it undiagnosed syndrome or neuro-respiratory syndrome," he said here on Monday.

Since April, the Cambodian Health Ministry has recorded 59 children, aged between three months and 11 years, to be affected by the mysterious disease.

"We could not collect laboratory samples in all cases because most of the children had not been tested and checked before they died. But those who had been checked were found to have Enterovirus EV-71," Tjandra explained.

In some cases, the Cambodian Health Ministry found dengue and Streptococcus suis virus, but the victims tested negative for H5N1 virus (avian influenza), influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Nipah virus.

"However, the WHO has not yet issued any travel warning for Cambodia," Tjandra said, adding that the Indonesian Health Ministry would follow up and monitor the case.

"I have written to all provincial health departments and port health offices, asking them to monitor the development of the case in Indonesia," Tjandra stated.