Now as we approach the time when Summer Arts Camp should be starting, we have run into some unexpected challenges and concerns. Over the past several months there have been intermittent news reports about an unspecified illness that has sickened dozens of children and which has a high mortality rate. Please see the excerpts from the articles below.
As a result of this, parents and others are significantly reducing voluntary public activities for children until more is known. Parents in our AIDS Patient Family Support Program and other custodians have voiced concerns about public gatherings. Consequently, for the time being, we have suspended our Summer Arts Program in its traditional form. Instead we will work to create small outings and other activities for these children and where feasible, bring dance and art activities to the children such as weekend dance lessons for the children at the Municipal Orphanage.
We are grateful for your continued support of our efforts as we work through this challenging time.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
Wall Street Journal, K. Barta, July 27, 2012--"Cambodian and international health officials are investigating an unexplained disease that has killed more than 60 children since early April"...The article goes on to describe the illness as an " unknown respiratory disease involving neurological symptoms".
CNN, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 9, 2012 -- 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.
The World Health Organization also noted that a " significant proportion of the sanples" had tested positive for EV71, but it cautioned that the outbreak had not been fully solved and more analysis was needed......