Jordan says it has identified sources of shigella outbreak

Dozens of youngsters have been admitted to hospital and schools in north closed to contain infections

Jordanian authorities said on Monday that they had identified some of the water sources responsible for a shigella outbreak in the kingdom in the last few days.

More than 80 people, mostly youngsters in northern Jordan, were admitted to hospital in the last few days after having diarrhoea and showing other symptoms of the bacterial infection.

Schools in the northern cities of Jerash and Ajloun were also closed to stop the infection from spreading, the government said.

No fatalities were reported.

The Health Ministry said in a statement that its tests showed that the Seil Al Zarqa, a smelly stream in Jerash governorate, was a “source of pollution” linked to the outbreak.

Contaminated water is a main source of shigella infections.

Children from low-income families usually take dips in the stream, which is mostly fed by treated sewage water.

The ministry said a public water storage tank in Jerash was also identified as polluted, as well as a water filtering station in the governorate of Ajloun.

“These sources have been shut down,” the ministry said. It added that it is “continuing to take samples from possible sources of the infection”.

Updated: October 18th 2021, 1:47 PM