At least five out of 80 children and five to ten staff of a childcare center in Punggol were taken down with gastroenteritis in the past few weeks.
The New Paper (TNP) had earlier reported that the childcare center in Punggol Central at Block 192 had an abnormal outbreak of the illness, notably because some teachers also got the same ailment.
Another affected center is at Block 175D, Punggol Field, but it refused to comment when local media contacted the center.
Four parents who enrolled their children in the first childcare, confirmed to TNP that there were cases of gastroenteritis at the center and that a letter was given out by the center about a month ago.
Madam Farizah, a mother of an affected six-year-old son, was quoted to have said that the letter stated there were 10 to 15 cases of gastroenteritis and the center was monitoring the situation.
In the letter, parents were urged to pick their child up as soon as possible once they had been informed that the child was unwell.
Madam Farizah said: “My son fell sick for a day about three Fridays ago. He had a stomach ache and high fever. He was very weak.”
She also said, “It was quite disruptive for a working parent like me. This incident also led to my husband falling sick about two days later.”
Another parent, Mr Tan, told that his four-year-old daughter fell ill two weeks ago.
And another parent said his daughter was ill even before the letter was given out.
He said, “But the center was quite prompt to respond to the situation, they cleaned the centre up right after that.”
Gastroenteritis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral tummy bug. It is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, actually a common condition that causes diarrhea and vomiting.
It affects people of all ages, but is particularly common in young children.
It can spread to others very easily by eating contaminated food or liquids, or by touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated, and then placing your hand into your mouth. Gastroenteritis can be very unpleasant, but it usually clears up by itself within a week. Another way is through direct contact with another person who is infected.
The bacteria can survive for significant periods of time on objects such as doorknobs, table tops or children’s toys.
The main symptoms of gastroenteritis are:
- sudden, watery diarrhea
- feeling sick
- vomiting, which can be projectile
- a mild fever
- Some people also have other symptoms, such as a loss of appetite, an upset stomach, aching limbs and headaches.
The symptoms usually appear up to a day after becoming infected. They typically last less than a week. Washing hands regularly will prevent the spread of gastroenteritis.