Kids hit hard after spike in gastroenteritis cases in Tenom

KOTA KINABALU: Tenom district has been hit with an increase in acute gastroenteritis (AGE) cases over the past two weeks, with most of the victims being children.

The outbreak was believed to have started on June 4, with patients complaining of diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, said Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Asits Sanna.

This causes dehydration and could even result in death if left untreated, he warned.

“The Tenom health office reported a total of 191 AGE cases with over 70% of the cases involving children under the age of 12,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Of this, 153 patients received outpatient treatment and 37 were hospitalised, with only four still receiving treatment in hospital, he added.

He said based on clinical samples, the suspicion was that polluted water was likely the main cause.

Dr Asits said a probe was being conducted together with the Water Department to find out the source of the pollution.

He explained that control measures such as lab tests, epidemiology and environmental investigations were conducted while awareness programmes were held.

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