A Hepatitis A outbreak was declared in three villages in Hulu Terengganu, namely Kampung Basong, Pasir Dula and Padang Setebu after 42 people were sent to Hulu Terengganu Hospital until today.
State Health, Unity and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Dr A Rahman Mokhtar, however, said that entry into these villages was allowed as no quarantine was imposed.
“Nine patients were discharged while 33 others remain warded for treatment, and their blood samples have been sent to Kuala Lumpur for analysis,” he told reporters after visiting victims of the disease at the hospital, here, today.
Dr A Rahman said as a proactive measure, the Hulu Terengganu Health Department took several steps to curb the epidemic which included forming a committee to oversee the cases and dispensing chlorine in water sources to kill the virus causing the disease.
“We have identified the source as viral infection from drinking water or food. The villages obtain water from a source collected on the hill which is then distributed to the homes of the villagers.
“From our investigations, there are signs that the Orang Asli here had built huts where the water source is located and their activities might have tainted the water as the virus was from human faeces.
“We are discussing how to ensure they don’t build huts at the water source, and I propose to appoint three or four Orang Asli to advise the others on this matter,” he said.
He added that the Health Department had also opened an operations room and a mobile clinic at the Pasir Dula community hall.
He urged villagers to go for a check-up, whereby minor cases would be treated on the spot and serious cases referred to the hospital.