SINGAPORE – A preschool in Tanjong Pagar, the Haven Infant and Toddler Centre, has been hit by a stomach flu outbreak affecting half of its enrolled infants.
The alarming situation, believed to be caused by a viral infection, has led to eight children experiencing gastroenteritis symptoms, including diarrhoea and vomiting.
Ms Angelyn Leong, the principal of the center, revealed that the first signs of stomach flu appeared on 3 January when two children developed diarrhea, prompting them to stay home the following day.
Despite one of them returning two days later, still showing symptoms, Ms Leong clarified that the parents had received approval from a doctor who attributed the diarrhea to overeating.
The situation escalated on Wednesday (10 Jan) when four more children vomited, raising concerns about the outbreak’s severity. Fortunately, none of the affected children required hospitalization, and two have already fully recovered.
The center, located at Tanjong Pagar Community Club and catering to children aged two months to 30 months, is managed by the Singapore Amalgamated Services Co-operative Organisation.
Ms Leong stated, “Preliminary findings from our investigations suggest that the stomach flu outbreak may have been caused by a viral infection.”
However, she emphasized ongoing efforts to pinpoint the exact cause and prevent further cases.
In response to the outbreak, the center has engaged a professional cleaning firm for a comprehensive cleaning and disinfection process.
Health authorities have been notified, and stool samples from affected children will undergo investigation and analysis.
The center will remain open on January 11, with authorities closely monitoring the situation to ensure the well-being of the children and staff.
According to the Straits Times, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that they are aware of this matter and are investigating an incident of suspected gastroenteritis.
“ECDA is monitoring the situation and working closely with the preschool operator to ensure the well-being of the children and staff,” both organisations said in a joint statement.
“As a precautionary measure, ECDA has advised the preschool to step up cleaning and disinfection of the premises to prevent the spread of infection among children and staff.”
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