Jerash poisoning cause will soon be revealed — source

Ministry of Health building
Ministry of Health headquarters. (Photo: Amir Khalifah/Jordan News)
AMMAN — More than a week has passed since the first poisoning cases appeared in Jubbah, Jerash, and the cause has yet to be announced.

However, a source from the Ministry of Health reported that the cause would be shared soon. The Jerash Education Directorate is taking precautionary measures to ensure students’ safety.اضافة اعلان

The patients, most of whom are children between the ages of 3–13, were found to have been infected with the Shigella bacteria. A statement issued by the Ministry of Health on Monday revealed that the ministry had identified three sources of pollution that may have caused the poisoning after the Environmental Health Directorate in Jerash conducted specialized water tests.

The ministry also confirmed that the results of the preliminary examinations from Khirbet Al-Wahadina in the Ajloun Governorate had proved the presence of contamination.  

The Jerash Education Directorate had suspended school activities across Jubbah for the past two days to sterilize and clean water sources and facilitate the work of the epidemiological investigation teams. 

Jerash Education Director, Faisal Al-Hawari, said in remarks to Jordan News that “The decision to close schools was carried out in cooperation with the National Center for Crisis Management and the Ministry of Health, to preserve the safety of students, especially because the majority of cases were amongst them.” 

Hawari added that “When I was informed about the poisoning cases in Jubbah among students last week, we decided to empty the water tanks in schools.

We also took some samples to examine the water and ensure its safety. This was all within the scope of precautionary measures to reduce infected cases.” 
The director stated that he would be intensifying his supervision of the governorate’s schools and replacing their old tanks that do not meet public safety requirements with new tanks. He, in addition to monitoring the water quality, will constantly sterilize them.

A source from the Ministry of Health told Jordan News: “The ministry’s personnel are conducting ... inspections in various parts of Jerash, and checking restaurants, shops, and desalination plants, to ensure that health protocols are being followed.” 

“I must assure everyone that the ministry is working diligently to figure out the reason behind the poisoning and will take the necessary measures and actions. The ministry will soon reveal the main reason behind the poisoning. We demand citizens not to publish fake news and wait for the official statement,” he said. 

It is worth mentioning that according to Mayo Clinic, children under the age of five are more likely to get an infection from the Shigella virus, but any age group can catch the infection. Mild cases usually clear up on their own within a week. However, when treatment is required, doctors typically prescribe antibiotics.

A patient with Shigella usually has symptoms that include bloody diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps one or two days after infection. The symptoms last for about a week. Most infected individuals recover without needing antibiotics.

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