KOTA KINABALU: Health officials hope to narrow down the possible causes of 150 children in Sabah’s Kota Belud district being struck with diarrhoea and fever over the past week.
Sabah Health Department deputy director Dr Mohd Yusof Ibrahim said although health officials initially ruled out cholera and typhoid, they would carry out tests on all samples for the diseases “to cover all bases.”
The affected children were from 20 villages in the district.
On Saturday, 40 were warded at the Kota Belud Hospital for diarrhoea while the others received outpatient treatment.
As of yesterday, 18 were still warded.
On Monday, six other people were given outpatient treatment.
Health officers have collected more samples of piped water from the affected areas.
“We are looking at the quality of the water supply. We hope to know more about the situation in a few days,” Dr Mohd Yusof said yesterday.
Herbert Timbun Lagadan, the state assemblyman for Kedamaian, where most of the cases were reported, said a possible factor was low chlorine content in the water.
He said he had contacted the district’s water department officials who assured him that water quality had not been compromised.
“There were some children treated for diarrhoea who were from villages that were getting their water supply from the gravity feed system,” Lagadan said, adding that there was usually an increase in the number of diarrhoea cases during a prolonged dry spell.
He hoped Health Department officials could pinpoint the cause of the ailments “so that we can tackle this problem once and for all.”