TAPAH: Over 2,200 cases of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) including two deaths have been reported in the Batang Padang and Hilir Perak districts in the past two weeks.
State Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said almost half of the patients were children aged 12 and below.
“Following the outbreak, I advise the public to drink only boiled water and to practise good hygiene,” he said.
The cases are from Bidor, Hutan Melintang, Teluk Intan, Chenderong Balai, Langkap and here, he added.
“In Hilir Perak, two infants, aged two and 10 months, died due to dehydration after getting sick.
“The infants were not brought to any government hospital or clinic for immediate treatment.
“Incessant vomiting and diarrhoea caused by AGE will lead to dehydration and pose a fatal threat to the young,” Dr Mah told reporters at the Tapah health clinic here yesterday.
Dr Mah said as of Feb 9, a total of 26 patients, mostly children, were hospitalised at the Tapah and Teluk Intan hospitals.
“All of them are in stable condition,” he said.
He added that 18 of 39 fecal samples taken from the patients showed that they contain rotavirus - the most common cause of severe diarrhoea among infants and young children, and is one of several viruses that cause infections often called stomach flu.
“To better identify the source of the outbreak, the state health department is working with the Institute for Medical Research and the National Public Health Laboratory to study water samples collected from various water sources in both districts.
“The results should be available by Monday,” he said. - theStarOnline