Waterfall picnic area closed after testing positive for leptospirosis

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 22 Oct 2015

JOHOR BARU: The Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest has been ordered closed to the public for three months after water samples taken from the waterfall tested ­positive for leptospirosis.

A notice on the closure – under the directive of the Johor Health Department and the State Forestry Department – has been put at the entrance of the recreational forest.

State Health and Environment committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said it was a precautionary measure to ensure that visitors were not exposed to the bacteria.

He said water samples that tested positive were taken by the Kulai Health Department officers from the picnic and waterfall areas in Gunung Pulai 1 and 2.

He said the lackadaisical attitude of visitors and picnickers who indiscriminately dumped rubbish and leftover food in the recreational area had made the area “a perfect breeding ground for rodents”.

“Although there are notice boards in the area requesting visitors to keep the place clean and not to dump rubbish, they continue to do so,” he said.

Another round of testing will be conducted after three months before any decision on reopening the recreational area is made.

Kulai Municipal Council public relations officer Halim Ridaudin said there were adequate rubbish bins in the area.

“Many take the easy way out by littering, knowing the authorities will clear the rubbish,” he said, adding that the council would assist the contractors to clean the area within these three months.

Gunung Pulai is a 654m high hill near Kulai, and easily reached by the North South Expressway after exiting the Kulai toll plaza.

Leptospirosis is an infectious ­disease that occurs in animals and can be transmitted to humans.

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