The World Health Organisation (WHO) is helping Cambodia investigate the cause of an unknown disease that has killed at least 60 children under seven years old, most of whom died within 24 hours of being admitted to hospital.
The children had been admitted to hospitals in the capital, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap in the north since April with high fevers and signs of encephalitic or respiratory symptoms, or both, the agency said. Most were under three years old.
All but one of the 61 children admitted had died, with "rapid deterioration of respiratory function," the WHO said.
"At this point in time, the cause and source of the disease in Cambodia is still under investigation," it said in an email to Reuters. It said it was investigating with the Cambodian health ministry and other partners.
The UN agency said in a report on 30 June that the clinical signs "appear unusual," with patients suffering from fever and a rapid deterioration of respiratory functions, although platelet counts, liver and renal functions were found to be normal.
No other hospital patients or staff in Phnom Penh had fallen ill with similar symptoms, the report said.