April 7, 2009

Rojak food poisoning


Singapore: 26 more people ill (Vibrio parahaemolyticus)

Source of Article:  http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_360681.html


THE outbreak of food poisoning among those who ate Indian rojak at a Geylang Serai hawker centre has worsened, with 10 more victims warded in hospital.

Another 16 were treated as outpatients, said a joint update from the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency (NEA) late on Tuesday night.

The cause of the outbreak is still unknown, but the MoH said preliminary laboratory investigation showed that two of the cases were positive for Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria commonly found in raw or partially cooked seafood, and is in the same family as those that cause cholera.

A total of 137 cases have been notified to MoH. Of these, 37 people were hospitalised, while 100 received outpatient treatment at various Emergency Departments and clinics. The patients developed onset of illness between last Thursday and Saturday, said the joint statement.

The main symptoms experienced by cases were severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

A woman canteen assistant has died and another woman is still critically ill in hospital after eating at the Rojak Geylang Serai stall.

MoH said although two cases have tested positive for Vibrio parahaemolyticus, 'it could not be currently established that the pathogen is the causative agent in this outbreak', as investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, NEA's continued surveillance of the stalls in the temporary market has found that the hygiene standards are satisfactory.

NEA officers have also reminded all the 82 cooked foodstallholders to practise good food and personal hygiene standards at all times.

Members of the public are advised to discard any unconsumed food items purchased from 'Rojak Geylang Serai' stall. Anyone who has patronised the stall and is experiencing symptoms of food poisoning should seek immediate medical attention.

If they have queries, they can call MOH at 1800-2254122.

Click here for more information on Vibrio parahaemolyticus.


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