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Monday, July 9, 2012

Cambodian children Mystery Disease: Officials search for more clues following a breakthrough this weekend

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) -- 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."

The World Health Organization also noted that a "significant proportion of the samples" had tested positive for EV71, but it cautioned that the outbreak had not been fully solved, and more analysis was needed. Read More