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Cambodian toddler in Rayong dies of HFMD: Thai expert

BANGKOK, July 28 — The hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) was the cause of the death of a two-year-old Cambodian boy in Thailand's eastern province of Rayong, according to a senior Public Health Ministry official.

Disease Control Department adviser emeritus Prof Dr Prasert Thongcharoen told reporters that the officials from the Bureau of Epidemiology went to Rayong to investigate the case.

The case however was not complicated as the child had symptoms of HFMD and it was unnecessary to forward the case to the virology experts to diagnose, he said.

According to the Bureau of Epidemiology's investigation, the child stayed in Thailand for a period of time so that the infection occurred in Thailand and not in Cambodia.

Dr Prasert said that he did not want the public to discriminate against children from Cambodia as the disease has no boundary. The epidemic in Cambodia has reportedly eased and it was enterovirus type 71 (EV71) subgenogroup C4.

The expert added that the recent death of a 16-year-old youth at Sa Kaeo was caused by Japanese encephalitis, an endemic disease found in Thailand and neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she instructed agencies concerned to promptly respond to contain the spread of the HFMD.

She dismissed criticism that her government covered up the outbreak, saying health officials must thoroughly examine each case before making an official announcement.

The premier said that the officials did not want the public to be alarmed but they should be advised on how to deal with and prevent the disease. (PNA/TNA) CTB/rsm

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