July 10th, 2012
11:43 AM ET

Outer Circle: Search for the key to mysterious illness killing Cambodian children

In Cambodia, a mysterious illness has killed 64 children since April and doctors now say they may have the first key to solving what's behind the deaths. It's called Enterovirus 71, a common childhood disease which was discovered in a number of the children who died.

In Phnom Penh, Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta reports.

Officials search for more clues in disease killing Cambodian children

Health officials continued on Monday to investigate the causes behind the mysterious deaths of 64 children in Cambodia after saying they had made an important discovery over the weekend.

The Institut Pasteur in Cambodia tested samples taken from 24 patients and found 15 had tested positive for Enterovirus Type 71 - a common cause of hand, foot and mouth disease that can also cause severe neurological complications, mainly in children.

"These results now give a good explanation to this outbreak," Dr. Philippe Buchy, head of the institute's virology unit, said in an e-mail over the weekend. "We will get more results hopefully by next Tuesday or Wednesday."


Filed under: International • OuterCircle
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