An emergency operations centre (EOC) has been established by the Public Health Ministry in response to over 100 people falling ill from an unidentified pathogen across three districts in Phuket. The pathogen has caused severe diarrhoea among those affected.
Public Health Permanent Secretary, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, stated that health authorities are investigating the cause of the outbreak, which was initially thought to be a virus. The EOC has been set up to manage the situation, working closely with provincial authorities throughout the investigation.
Dr Opas emphasised that despite diarrhoea having a low death rate, it is crucial to enforce sanitation regulations to prevent it from becoming a public health concern. This comes after a surge of patients presenting with symptoms on Thursday night.
Health Inspector-General Dr Kittisak Aksornwong reported that numerous individuals were admitted to hospitals in the Mueang, Kathu, and Thalang districts. However, most of those seeking medical treatment experienced only mild symptoms, including stomach cramps, vomiting, and low-grade fever.
Dr Kittisak added that several schools have also reported cases of students suffering from diarrhoea and ill health. Health officials have collected samples of water and ice for examination and have been sent to inspect the production and transportation of drinking water in tambons Wichit and Chalong to prevent contamination.
The public is urged to consume freshly cooked food and wash their hands frequently. Those who fall ill are advised to take sick leave, if possible, to reduce the spread of the pathogen.
Yesterday, it was reported that the Phuket Provincial Public Heath Office suspected that the notorious was spread through drinking water and ice. Several drinking water and ice factories in the province were investigated but no virus was detected in any of these places. Several schools in Phuket were closed yesterday for a thorough cleaning. The classroom, bathrooms, and all of the equipment are to be disinfected for the safety of students.
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