Sudden Hepatitis A outbreak hits 35 people

PHOTO: Sudden Hepatitis A outbreak hits 35 people

KUALA TERENGGANU, Malaysia - Thirty-five people from two villages in Hulu Terengganu have been infected with Hepatitis A in a sudden outbreak.

It is learnt the victims from Kampung Basung and Kampung Pasir Dula, including 11 children, suffered fever-like symptoms as well as yellowish eyes and infected urine.

The villagers started falling sick since Friday and were admitted to the Hulu Terengganu Hospital.

However, nine patients have since been discharged while 26 were still warded yesterday.

"The remaining victims are stable," said Terengganu Health director Dr Anwa Sulaiman.

"We expect them to recover within a few days," he said, adding that those suffering from similar symptoms should seek treatment immediately.

There were fears earlier that the illness was leptospirosis, but this was later confirmed to be Hepatitis A.

Dr Anwa said the cause of the illness might be due to dirty water as well as unclean environment and food.

He advised the public to ensure the water they used daily was not contaminated.

Victim Norain Nabila Rasyid, 17, who is sitting for her SPM exam, said her younger siblings, aged 11, seven and three, were also infected.

"I am more concerned about them," said the SMK Kuala Jenderis student, adding that she still hoped to give her best in the exam as she has "recovered a bit."