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59 residents at welfare homes in Buangkok fall ill with gastroenteritis

57 residents fell ill with gastroenteritis symptoms at Pelangi Village. (Photo: Google Maps)

SINGAPORE: Authorities are investigating cases of gastroenteritis at two welfare homes in Pelangi Village after 59 residents fell ill, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday (May 22). 

As of 12pm on Monday, there were 22 cases from Angsana Home and 37 cases from Banyan Home. They started having gastroenteritis symptoms between May 14 and May 18.

Eleven people were taken to hospital and three have since been discharged. The remaining are in a stable condition, the authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

"Those affected consumed food from the homes’ in-house kitchen, which has been instructed to cease operations while the investigation is ongoing," MOH and SFA said.

Located in Buangkok, Pelangi Village houses six welfare homes, including Angsana Home and Banyan Home, which are run by Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society and Chee Hoon Kog Moral Promotion Society respectively. 

Symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhoea and vomiting. 

A person can develop the illness by eating contaminated food and drinks, touching contaminated surfaces and putting unwashed hands in their mouth or through direct contact with infected people.

"It is important for affected persons to rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids and to seek medical attention if necessary," the authorities said.

"The food supply chain is extensive and food can be contaminated at any point in time."

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