Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria identified in 2 cases of rojak food poisoning

Source of Article:

By Lynda Hong, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 07 April 2009 2310 hrs

SINGAPORE: Preliminary lab results show two of the Geylang Serai food poisoning cases have tested positive for the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

According to a joint statement from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency, the bacteria is a common cause of food poisoning associated with consumption of raw or partially cooked seafood.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus - which comes from the same family as the bacteria which causes cholera - causes watery diarrhoea and abdominal cramps in nearly all cases, usually with nausea, vomiting, fever and headache.

Typically, it is a disease of moderate severity lasting one to seven days. Systemic infection and death rarely occur. The incubation period is usually between 12 to 24 hours, but can range from four to 96 hours.

But with investigations still ongoing, the ministry added it has yet to establish if the pathogen is the cause of this outbreak.

The ministry said it has been notified of 137 cases so far. Thirty-seven were hospitalised, while 100 received outpatient treatment at various hospital emergency departments and clinics.

These cases started to fall sick between April 2 and 4 with food poisoning symptoms such as severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

The ministry has adviced the public to discard any unconsumed food purchased from the 'Rojak Geylang Serai' stall.

It said food poisoning is generally not contagious but faecal-oral transmission can occur with poor personal hygiene.

Those with queries can contact MOH at 1800-225-4122.

More information on Vibrio parahaemolyticus is available at the United States' Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website at

- CNA/yb



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