Singapore

Newton pre-school that saw outbreak of salmonella and stomach flu closes kitchen after more kids fall sick

The pre-school in Newton that saw an outbreak of salmonella and stomach flu has closed its kitchen temporarily as eight more children have fallen ill since Wednesday last week.

This brings the total number of infected children to 68, two of whom are hospitalised, said Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse @ Newton in an e-mail sent last Friday to parents.

The pre-school added that 14 children are confirmed to have salmonella infection.

A total of 175 children are enrolled at the pre-school.

"We are taking full responsibility in dealing with this issue," said Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse.

With its kitchen closed for deep cleaning and sanitisation, the pre-school - which has remained open - has engaged JR Foods to provide the children's meals for the next few weeks.

The cause of the outbreak has yet to be determined. Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse said it expects investigations by the authorities to conclude by the end of this week.

It is looking into the matter separately while the Singapore Food Agency conducts an investigation.

The pre-school first notified parents last Monday about a spike in stomach flu cases among its pupils.

Parents had earlier complained about the school's tardiness in disclosing the outbreak and expressed shock over the number of children who have fallen ill.

Eating food contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis can cause food poisoning, with symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

A salmonella infection can be fatal for young children, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems.

Stomach flu, on the other hand, is caused by the norovirus, which inflames the stomach and intestines.

Common symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting.

The virus can be airborne, making the infection contagious. It can also spread through contaminated food and water.

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