KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak contracted E.coli food poisoning spending just a few days in flooded areas, signalling just how easily an epidemic could break out from the flooding disaster, DAP's Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud said today.
The political secretary to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang pointed out that victims of one of the worst floods to hit Malaysia in decades have spent weeks in high-risk conditions — with little sanitation and limited access to clean water and medicine.
"The water may have subsided and those who still have homes may have returned to them, but there is now an urgent need to take steps to prevent an epidemic from breaking out,” Dyana Sofya said in a statement.
“It is almost a certainty that thousands of victims, both adults, children and elderly alike, are currently exposed to contaminated floodwater and have not been eating nutritional food. With their morale and immune system at their worst, they are certainly at risk,” she added.
Dyana Sofya said both federal and state governments need to come up with a transparent and inclusive plan to manage the post-flood situation now that waters have subsided and people have begun returning home after major floods struck the east coast last month.
The Prime Minister's Office announced yesterday that Najib was fighting an E.coli infection, believed to be food poisoning, after visiting flood-affected areas.
E.coli or the Escherichia coli (E.coli) is a bacteria that is widely found in the human intestine. Certain strains can cause mild to severe food poisoning symptoms. Infection can happen if water or food contaminated by human or animal feces is consumed.
Najib made several trips to areas devastated by the floods on December 27, including Kelantan, which is among the states worst hit in the disaster that saw almost 250,000 people evacuated from their homes at one point.