Ajloun, Jerash schools reopen after water tanks emptied and sterilized

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AMMAN — Students have returned to their schools in Jerash and Ajloun after they were closed for two days after a number of students succumbed to symptoms of poisoning, Ministry of Education spokesperson Ahmad Masafah said. He confirmed the presence of Shigella bacteria in the schools’ water tanks.اضافة اعلان

Masafah said schools were reopened after water tanks were emptied and sterilized, adding that the Ministry of Education is issuing instructions requiring that schools inspect their water tanks regularly to verify water safety. He said the situation of the stricken students was stable and that there is no cause for concern or panic.

The head of the Parliamentary Health Committee, MP Ahmed Al-Sarrahna, said: “This germ is not new and it is found in abundance all over the world, as such this cannot be considered an epidemic.” He said that fear was justified before the source of the infection was known, but now the source has been determined.

Sarrahna said the committee called for the need to check all water tanks at all schools in the Kingdom, and called on all health authorities to increase oversight.

Dr. Firas Al-Tarawneh, an internal medicine specialist, explained that Shigella is a common bacterium that causes intestinal catarrh and constrictions which affects children. The symptoms begin when it enters the body through the digestive tract via contaminated food or through contact with a patient who has been infected.

Dr. Tarawneh said that symptoms include fever, nausea, and bloody diarrhea, and that most cases are simple and require conservative treatment.

He said that this germ is contagious and rapidly transmitted, and the most effective way to prevent its transmission is to maintain hygiene, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, and stop sending infected children to schools in order to break the chain of infection.

Dr. Tarawneh called for the need to pay attention to food safety and to drink bottled and or sterilized water.

Um Ubadah, a mother of three children, said that two of her sons contracted the disease. She said that source were the water tanks of her sons’ school, Al-Wahadina School for boys. “My sons had severe diarrhea and he is still suffering from it, I am afraid that the infection will return again. In our village, every house has either the COVID-19 virus or Shigella.”

As for Um Muhammad, from the village of Al-Wahadina, she said that two of her sons were also infected with Shigella and they were taken to a private hospital because they were suffering from severe pain, diarrhea and nausea.
“I am afraid because of the lack of clarity as to the source of infection,” Um Muhammad said. She confirmed that water desalination stations, stores and restaurants in the area have been closed. She said the Water Authority visited the homes of the infected children to check their water and find out if it is safe to drink.

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