Viral social media post on rotavirus outbreak rattles Melaka


MALACCA: Health authorities here are investigating the source of a possible rotavirus cluster infection in the state – but advised members of the public not to panic over unfounded social media reports alleging that cases of the disease have been officially confirmed. State Health Department director Datuk Dr Ghazali Othman said investigations are being conducted to verify claims on social media that several children contracted the virus after playing at a fountain located at the Klebang coastal recreation area.

 “There are no conclusive results which can be shared with the media at the moment. “I advise members of the public to be more careful and responsible in (sharing) such news on social media,” he told reporters at a press conference in Bukit Baru here today. He said the unsubstantiated claims have created fear and anxiety among locals, especially residents in Klebang. “Even my wife asked me about the alleged infection once she came home from work,” he added. Dr Ghazali was responding to a viral social media post warning locals not to take their children to the fountain. The post, which cited a doctor at the Malacca Hospital’s emergency ward as it source, stated that many children had sought treatment at the hospital after bathing at the fountain.

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 Dr Ghazali said that the fountain is overseen by the Malacca Historical City Council (MBMB), which has its own health officers to investigate the claims. “MBMB should (therefore disclose) what has been done following the claim going viral on social media,” he said. A check at the site today revealed that the fountain is not operating. MBMB mayor Datuk Zainal Hussin said he ordered the temporary closure of the fountain in response to the viral post. “I have asked the Health authorities to check on this matter, (and requested the) temporary closure of the water fountain. “There is a signboard warning members of the public that it is prohibited to swim, bathe or wash in the fountain’s pool,” said Zainal.

Source :- NST


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