70 Phuket Residents Experience Widespread Diarrhea Outbreak

Over 70 students and local residents in Phuket were struck by a nasty bout of diarrhea recently.

The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office hypothesizes that this unpleasant event may be linked to the consumption of polluted water and ice sourced from adjacent factories.

It’s speculated that a stomach infection, potentially the infamous norovirus, somehow infiltrated the community’s water supply, resulting in the wide-ranging discomfort endured by the affected residents.

ThaiRath conveyed that both public and private hospitals across Phuket were overwhelmed with patients exhibiting severe diarrhea symptoms. The majority of cases came from the Mueang and Kathu regions of the province.

Reacting to the outbreak, the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office anticipated that the norovirus was spread through water and ice.

Numerous water and ice factories throughout the province underwent examination, however, no virus was found at these locations.

The office advised residents and visitors to consume only freshly prepared food and wash their hands regularly. The authorities pointed out that norovirus could spread through the ingestion of food and beverages, as well as through the air.

Several schools in Phuket were shut down for comprehensive cleaning today. The classrooms, restrooms, and all equipment will be sanitized for the protection of students.

Students were also encouraged to bring their own water from home, especially during the rainy season when the norovirus is typically more prevalent.

The deputy head of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Hospital, Bancha Khakong, suggested that locals choose fresh produce for cooking and eat freshly cooked meals within two to four hours to fend off the norovirus.

A comparable incident happened last year, affecting more than 700 local people and tourists in the central province of Chantaburi in December.

Provincial health officials had to deal with both Covid-19 and diarrhea cases simultaneously. The province’s public health office found that the norovirus was responsible, although the exact origin of the virus was not disclosed.

Norovirus is a prevalent global cause of gastroenteritis, a condition causing inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Symptoms of a norovirus infection usually involve nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and occasionally a mild fever.

These symptoms typically manifest 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus and can persist for one to three days.