AffiliationEpidemiology and Public Health Unit, Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France; Service de Toxicologie, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France
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AbstractAn outbreak investigation was conducted during February-March 2005 to determine the cause of several sudden deaths occurring in Pailin Province, Cambodia. Sixty-seven patients presented with non-febrile poisoning-like symptoms and 15 died of coma, including 53% children under 10 years old. Symptoms included sore throat (92%), sore lips (73%), swollen tongue (54%) and gastrointestinal signs (41%). A plant locally called prik was the source of poisoning (97.0 vs. 28.7%, odds ratio 74.3, P<0.001). Patients may have confused the edible Melientha suavis Pierre with Urobotrya siamensis Hiepko, both from the Opiliaceae family. This was the first report of Urobotrya poisoning and its clinical manifestations.
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