Minister checks on children hospitalized for suspected poisoning

[16-10-2021 11:32 PM]

Ammon News -

Minister of Health Firas Hawari visited Jerash Government Hospital Saturday to check on the condition of nine children, the latest of dozens who were admitted to the local facility with symptoms of poisoning.

The minister also met with the director of the hospital, the director of environmental health and the doctors treating the patients, calling on them to provide full health care to them.

Hawari suspected shigellosis, a germ that causes an infectious disease of the intestines, could be behind the poisoning as the new cases came three days after dozens of similar admissions, and could have been transmitted from one person to another within the same family or from an infected person in the community.

The minister said that ministry teams have been mobilized since dawn today to collect samples to verify if this "secondary" spread is the result of the transmission of the germ among the patients.

He explained that Shigellosis is a highly infectious disease, and that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, adding that a patient can generally be cured three days after infection, and treatment does not need antibiotics except in severe cases that require clinical attention.

This germ usually flourishes in autumn and is transmitted through water and food, and also spreads from one person to another through contact, he said, adding that safety measures, including washing hands, vegetables and fruits, are among precautions to curb infection.

The hospital's director Sadiq Atoum said that some 58 patients had been admitted since the first suspicious cases were reported on Monday and all of them were discharged. Another 11 suspected cases arrived on Friday and early Saturday and 9 were admitted, he added, describing their condition as stable.

Environmental Health Director Ayman Maqableh said that the ministry has taken all necessary measures, including epidemiological investigation and examination of possible sources of infection and water samples were being taken from different sources in the region, and that the preliminary results were "good, but there is a need to follow up on microbes and fungi, and more samples will be taken to determine the source of infection."

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