[UPDATED 11 December 2020 18:00:00] Three children, aged between 18 months and 6 years old, at a Newton preschool were hospitalised following an outbreak of salmonella and stomach flu earlier this week.
60 Cases Have Emerged So Far
Image Source: iStock
The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) on Tuesday (8 December) said one of the children hospitalised has since been discharged.
The preschool in question, Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse at Newton, said it is working with the Ministry of Health on the case, of which the cause has yet to be determined as of reporting.
On Wednesday, the Straits Times reported that nearly 40 more cases have emerged bringing the total as of Wednesday (9 December) to 60. The newspaper also reported that KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse has also engaged a new food supplier.
Meanwhile, the preschool assured parents that the centre will be disinfected daily.
Parents Wished The School Reacted With More Urgency
Seeing as kids have weaker immune systems at such a young age making salmonella a big cause of concern, parents have spoken to The Straits Times about how they wished the school had reacted with more urgency when announcing the outbreak.
A parent stated that her 4-year-old had a fever and was vomiting back on Friday while her 2-year-old also showed signs of sickness and diarrhoea the next day. It was reported that she only received the first circular on Monday (7 December), already days after her kids fell sick. She said that if she had known about the outbreak, she would have acted sooner.
Another parent also expressed their concern on the situation and said his child was hospitalised after symptoms of severe stomach pain and vomiting. When he called the school regarding this, he was informed not to tell the other parents to avoid alarming them. Although, he stated that parents needed to know about cases like these to protect their children.
Image Source: iStock
Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse @ Newton Issues Statement
On Friday (11 December), the preschool issued a statement regarding the matter.
According to the Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse’s spokesperson, they are aware some students “have fallen ill with Salmonella infection and we are working with the parents of those affected to ensure that they have everything they need during this time. We wish them a quick recovery and we regret that this situation has happened.”
“We believe that this is an isolated situation and, with the information that we have to date, only affects Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse @ Newton. Upon hearing that there was a spike in stomach flu, we initiated investigations with our kitchen staff. We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Early Childhood Development Agency to co-create an action plan moving forward.”
“We notified parents on Monday when it became clear that there was a spike in stomach flu among pupils at the Newton preschool. We confirmed to parents on Tuesday that there were confirmed instances of Salmonella, once we were in possession of more facts. We deal with a large number of families and it is always important for us to clarify the facts before alerting parents to guard against causing undue concern. We continue to provide our community with regular updates and information to ensure that they remain updated on the situation as it stands,” the spokesperson said.
We take this situation seriously and we are liaising closely with the authorities to ensure that we continue to. We will take any further identified actions to ensure that this is contained and continue to provide the full spectrum of support to parents, children and staff,” the spokesperson added.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is said to be one of the most common causes of food poisoning as it is often spread through contaminated foods including raw meat, raw fruits, raw vegetables, unpasteurised milk, raw eggs and other processed foods such as chicken nuggets. Even animals such as dogs, cats, birds and reptiles can carry salmonella so be extra careful if you’ve got a pet at home.
It can cause an upset stomach, diarrhoea, fever and cramping pains in your stomach. When the situation becomes severe, it may require hospitalisation and very rarely can be life-threatening.
Salmonella infections are highly contagious as anyone who carries it can expose everyone around them to the bacteria which is why it brought upon such concern among parents.
Parents may ensure their child’s safety from salmonella poisoning by avoiding undercooked food at all cost and practising proper hygiene by carefully washing your hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.
If you suspect your child has a Salmonella infection, seek medical attention or consult a physician immediately.
Lead image source from Facebook / Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse.
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