PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A virulent strain of hand, foot and mouth disease may be the mystery illness that has killed at least 52 children in Cambodia, according to a joint statement from the World Health Organization and the Cambodian Health Ministry.
The virus, known as EV-71, can result in paralysis, brain swelling and death. Most of the Cambodian cases involved children younger than 3 who experienced fever, respiratory problems that led to rapid shutdown, and sometimes neurological symptoms.
Epidemiologists are still trying to piece together information about the cases by interviewing parents, said Nima Asgari, who is leading the WHO investigation. Of 24 samples tested, 15 came back positive for EV-71.