Sabah Health Dept on top of Tawau mass diarrhoea reports; says no new cases since Oct 2

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Health Department is on top of monitoring acute gastroenteritis (AGE) incidents following a video circulated on social media about 80 diarrhoea cases in a day recorded in Sri Tanjong, Tawau.

In a statement Wednesday (Oct 5), state Health director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin said the Tawau health office initially received a notification on AGE cases on Sept 26 from two private clinics involving a total of 22 cases, with patients showing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach ache.

Early investigations found the cases involved patients from different housing estates, and all cases were treated as outpatients.

“From Sept 26 until Oct 1, the cumulative cases reported were at 85. The situation is under control and no new cases has been registered since Sunday (Oct 2).

“Thorough investigations on the cases and surrounding areas including an ice factory have been conducted, and the Tawau health office has also conducted laboratory testing on stool, water and ice samples to identify the cause of infection.

“The 19 stool samples from cases have shown negative results of microorganism presence, while investigations at the ice factory site also found hygiene levels satisfactory.

“Meanwhile, the district health office today also found the water condition at the housing areas involved to be clear and in-situ testing at several houses found no breach in clarity, chlorine, pH and temperature parameters,” she said in the statement issued on the Sabah Health Department Facebook page.

Dr Rose Nani added that they are still awaiting chemical testing results for the water samples taken.

“The department advises the public to always practice cleanliness and frequently washing their hands, to cook food in the correct way and keep food in the right temperature and clean environment.

“They must also use clean water and consume (piped) water that has been boiled,” she added, adding that the state health department will continue to monitor any AGE incidents through surveillance via all health facilities across Sabah.

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