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Viral digestive outbreak strikes over 6,000 people in Phuket

PHOTO: Flickr/Mommy MundoXYZ

We suspect a lot more. A digestive virus that causes diarrhoea and vomiting has spread across Phuket affecting, officially, nearly 6,400 people so far, according to a Nation Thailand report. Dr Kusak Kukiattikul from the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office says that yesterday’s patient count was the highest since June 8.

It’s understood the virus has affected adults and children, Thais and foreigners, with symptoms including diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Health officials on the island are rolling out containment measures to prevent the virus spreading, with a confirmed total of 6,382 infected between June 5 and June 12.

According to Dr Kusak, around 70% of those infected have been diagnosed with norovirus, which spreads rapidly and causes inflammation of the digestive system. However, the number of patients with diarrhoea is now starting to drop, according to the doctor, and school students who first reported symptoms have now recovered.

“We suspect that the digestive disease spread from water resources and ice, so we collected samples from six factories and tap water in Phuket for inspection.”

Tests on the samples are expected next week. Meanwhile, provincial health officials have ordered public venue operators to ensure strict hygiene and cleanliness protocols and to purify water with chlorine before using it.

All schools have been told to deploy strict sanitation measures and hospitals have been told to be prepared in the event of more people being admitted.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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