KOTA KINABALU: There is a slight increase in acute gastroenteritis (AGE) cases in Penampang district but it is not considered an outbreak, says the Sabah Health Department.

Its director Datuk Dr Asits Sanna said based on surveillance carried out during the 24th Epidemiological week, the number of AGE cases or acute watery diarrhoea and, or vomiting, has gone a little beyond the set action line level.

“However, the cases of AGE are sporadic and so there is no outbreak,” he said in a statement on Friday (June 28).

Another check conducted on the 25th Epidemiological week showed that the level of AGE cases is under the alert line, he said.

In explaining AGE, Dr Asits said this is a condition where a patient would suffer from water stoll more than three times within 24 hours.

This might or might not come with other symptoms such as vomiting, fever and stomach pains, he said.

If the situation persists and continues more seriously, a person might be dehydrated, he said, adding that AGE is normally caused by viral, bacterial or parasitic infection.

Dr Asits advised the public to keep themselves clean at all times, to wash their hands often, use clean and cooked water for consumption, carry out regular service of water filter systems, ensure food is cooked well before eaten, and to seek immediate medical attention if any symptoms arise.

“We will continue to monitor the situation together with other health facilities in the district and keep the public informed of any updates,” he added.

Earlier this month, Tenom district was also hit with an increase in AGE cases, with most of the patients being children.