HUTAN MELINTANG - Holding on to a mobile phone with the only picture of her dead child, housewife K. Valliyamal choke back tears, saying she missed him very much.
Valliyamal, 36, said the death of her two-year-old child M. Varagaran on Jan 31 was due to acute gastroenteritis.
"It seems only yesterday that we welcomed him into our home and now he is gone," she said when met at her home in Ladang Teluk Buluh here yesterday.
Varagaran was one of the two children who died after the acute gastroenteritis breakout.
Valliyamal said she thought Varagaran was having a normal fever and diarrhoea when the toddler began to cry incessantly on Jan 29.
"His body was hot and he was defecating continuously.
"He also started to vomit whatever food we gave him. Two days later, his eyes began to swell and he also had difficulty breathing," she said, adding that she immediately called the Hutan Melintang health clinic.
Valliyamal said her son died shortly after health officers tried to save him.
She added that her family had been drinking water straight from the tap at her home.
"After the death of my child, health officers came to my home and inspected the water.
"They then advised us to boil the water before drinking," she said.
J. Manickam, 31, the father of the other victim, 10-month-old Tamil Selvam, said his son had seemed fine hours before he passed away.
"He was still moving around normally. Hours later, my son's lifeless body was found by my wife," he said when met at his home at Taman Juhaila here.