Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 4, 2007

Cook, food handler, woman sources of cholera outbreaks

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:05 am

NST: A cook, a food handler and a woman living on the bank of Sungai Tawaran were identified as the sources of the outbreaks of cholera in three districts in northern Sabah.
The cook, who had prepared food for a wedding party, was identified as the source of the outbreak in Kudat, which began on March 12.
The food handler at an eatery near a timber camp was determined as the source of the one in Pitas five days later, while an elderly woman living upriver from here, in Kampung Pampang Poring, was said to have caused the outbreak in the district on March 26.
The outbreak has since been contained as health officials launched control measures a day after the first case was detected.
Only one death has been recorded, that of a six-year-old Indonesian boy who lived in Kampung Pinggan-Pinggan, Pitas, on March 18.
Public Health Department principal assistant director Dr Jenurin Jilip said yesterday that the boy died due to dehydration, six days after showing symptoms of cholera: Vomiting and diarrhoea.
He said control measures taken by the department were to treat those who developed the symptoms, investigate the source of the outbreak and dispatching teams to villages where the suspected cholera patients came from. “The teams will disinfect areas that were dirty, advise the villagers to practise good hygiene, collect samples for tests and close down premises when necessary.
“Carriers will also be brought to the hospital for observation.”
Jenurin said in the past four days, there had been no new cases in Pitas, while in Kudat and here, officials had begun identifying “healthy” carriers of the disease.
Healthy carriers are those who carry the cholera strain but do not suffer from it.
“What this means is that at this stage, where we are able to identify healthy carriers, we have the situation under control. This is because by identifying the carriers, we can prevent the spread of cholera.”
In Kudat, 16 villages were affected, 10 in Pitas alone, said Jenurin.
He said the entire state had been put on alert to identify possible cases.
No cases have been reported elsewhere.
Teams of health officials were brought in from Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu and Kota Belud to help officials from the three districts over the past three weeks.
Jenurin, however, was unable to provide the exact number of cases, carriers and suspected patients pending results of tests and compilation of data from the various districts. “To determine cholera cases, we need up to five days after collecting stool samples from the patients.”

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