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Authorities confirm Bukit Merah Resort source of rotavirus outbreak

BUKIT MERAH: The state Health Department has confirmed that the recent rotavirus outbreak in several states was due to victims’ exposure to contaminated water at the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort waterpark.

Its director Datuk Dr Juita Ghazalie said when investigators plotted an epidemiology curve from the histories given by patients and their stool laboratory results, they were able to conclude that the water park was the source of the outbreak, and that the possible exposure date was Sept 24.

“Almost all patients gave a history of visiting the same resort, thus we can say that the outbreak was due to exposure to contaminated water on that day at the resort,” she said in statement today.

She also said the department has stopped monitoring the outbreak since no new cases have emerged, adding that the incubation period for rotavirus is between two hours and three days.

“The monitoring duration is already beyond two incubation periods, taking into consideration the last case onset which was reported on Oct 1,” she said. Dr Juita said active measures are now being taken by the resort management to clean the waterpark.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah recently said that water samples taken at the water park on Sept 29 and 30 tested negative for the virus.

He said the negative results could be due to cleaning and chlorine sanitisation exercises conducted on Sept 24 before the water samples were taken by health authorities.

Dr Noor Hisham also said the ministry recorded 30 confirmed rotavirus cases among those who visited the waterpark since Sept 24. He said that out of 70 people who came down with acute gastroenteritis, 42.9 per cent tested positive for rotavirus, adding that Perak had six confirmed cases, Kedah had 16, and Penang had eight.

-New Straits Times

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