The Star/Asia News Network
Monday, Feb 13, 2012
IPOH – The acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak in Perak is confined to two districts.
State Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said the outbreak was still contained within the Tapah, Bidor, Langkap, Teluk Intan, Hutan Melintang and Bagan Datoh areas, which are in Batang Padang and Hilir Perak districts.
He added that 2,686 cases were reported as of 8am yesterday.
“The rotavirus (which causes AGE) is not airborne. It is transmitted through faecal contact on surfaces, contaminated hands, furniture and objects like toys.
“Therefore, personal hygiene, such as washing your hands after going to the toilet, is important.
“Boil drinking water although it is filtered,” he said yesterday.
The rotavirus infection, which also causes vomiting, fever and dehydration, caused the death of two infants and the outbreak of more than 2,200 AGE cases in the two districts over the last two weeks.
According to the Health Ministry’s National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC), 94 new cases were reported in Hilir Perak and 48 in Batang Padang.
Fifteen patients were warded at the Teluk Intan Hospital and seven at Tapah.
Dr Mah also said there was no need to shut down kindergartens in the two districts as long as the operators ensured that the children observed personal hygiene.
Perak health director Datuk Dr Ahmad Razin Ahmad Mahir said those showing signs of diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache and appetite loss should seek immediate treatment.
Meanwhile, a consultant paediatrician at a private hospital here, Dr David Manickam, said AGE would not lead to deaths but the recent fatalities reported were due to dehydration.
He advised parents of young children to be on the lookout for youngsters who refused to drink, were not active, not passing urine, tired and having dry lips and tongue.
“Look also for sunken eyes or fontanel (soft spots on a baby’s head),” he added.
Dr Manickam said parents should encourage their children to eat porridge, drink water or isotonic drinks.
He added that parents should also bring their children for follow-up treatment two days after the initial treatment if the child’s health did not improve.
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