More than 50 children have come down with vomiting at Oasis Primary School, Singapore. What exactly happened?
According to The Straits Times, more than 50 children at Oasis Primary School have been vomiting since the start of school this year. Many were reported to be suffering from diarrhoea and a fever as well. At least 62 people in all, including staff and students, showed these symptoms.
Measures taken by the school
According to the school principal, Mrs Ong-Chew Lu See, "We immediately took preemptive steps to disinfect the school premises on top of the regular cleaning. At the same time, we engaged the assistance of the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA), and Public Utilities Board (PUB) to investigate the cause." The children have recovered and are now back in school.
The school has since then, temporarily suspended mass gathering of pupils, in order to reduce the chances of illness spreading across the school. Daily temperature-taking is another preventive measure that has been adopted.
School staff have been asked to keep an eye out for sick pupils; pupils have also been reminded to let their teachers know in case they feel sick.
The reasons for this infection remain unknown. Tests have already been conducted; food samples were collected from the school. Further checks will be conducted on the suppliers of food ingredients. Food handlers were also required to undergo stool screening.
In a joint statement, MOH, NEA, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and PUB have stated that, "No hygiene lapses were detected at the school canteen during an inspection on Jan 9. All the food handlers working in the school canteen have attended and passed the Basic Food Hygiene Course (BFHC), and none were reported to be sick prior to the incident."
"PUB conducted water quality tests on water samples collected from Oasis Primary School on Jan 7, and found that the water quality met World Health Organisation Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality and is safe for drinking."
MOH, NEA and AVA continue to investigate the incident.
What to do in case of vomiting in children
Here are some pointers to take note of in case your child starts vomiting:
- Check for these warning signs of dehydration: an unusually sleepy or inactive child, dry mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, cold hands and feet and not passing enough urine. These signs require an urgent visit to the doctor.
- Take your child to the doctor if he starts vomiting green fluid (bile).
- Give your child small quantities of fluids at frequent intervals.
- If you are breastfeeding, keep doing so, at frequent intervals.
- Avoid junk food and soft drinks.
- Avoid coffee and tea as they can cause dehydration.
- Keep your child away from school, kindergarten or daycare until the vomiting has stopped completely.
(Source: The Straits Times)
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