Forest park area in Kluang closed after children infected with leptospirosis

Biohazard: Authorities collecting water samples at a suspected leptospirosis outbreak site.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

JOHOR BARU - The Gunung Berlumut recreational area in Kluang was ordered to close after two children contracted leptospirosis (rat urine disease) there.

Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Com­mi­ttee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the siblings, aged five and seven years, went there for a trip with their relatives from Feb 16 to Feb 18.

He said the children started experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting on Feb 18 and were warded at the Kulai Hospital on Feb 23, where they were treated for acute gastroenteritis and discharged the following day.

The leptospirosis notice, however, was issued after their second blood test on March 13 showed the presence of the bacteria.

He said investigations and tests on the affected individuals were still ongoing.

In a statement issued yesterday, Ayub noted that Kluang local authorities recorded two cases of leptospirosis at the recreational area this year, one in January and another in February.

"After the January case, two of five water samples taken tested positive for leptospira," he said.

Ayub also said the taps at the recreational area, located 32km from Kluang town, sourced their water directly from the river.

He said the Health Department recommended its closure until clean raw water could be supplied to the area.