Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lata Bayu park reopens after man's death

The Lata Bayu recreational park, which is a favourite among picnickers, was closed for a month following the death of a visitor who had contracted leptospirosis after taking a dip in the ponds there.

It's is free of deadly leptospirosis disease, says health department director

ALOR STAR: THE Lata Bayu recreational park in Baling near here is open to the public again.

After a month-long closure, the Kedah Health Department has allowed the park, which is a favourite among picnickers, to be opened again after it has been certified clean of rats, which are the carriers of the deadly leptospirosis disease.

Department director Dr Ismail Abu Taat said test results of water and soil samples taken from the ponds at the park showed that they were free of the bacteria responsible for the disease, known as black jaundice.

"We have taken steps to rid the place of rats that carry the bacteria.

"The park is open to the public again."

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Dr Ismail advised the public against the indiscriminate disposing of rubbish, especially food leftovers, to prevent rats from returning to the park.

He said the public should maintain the cleanliness at the park, as well as other public places, to avoid the outbreak of rat-borne diseases.

"We will continue to monitor the situation at the park.

"Lata Bayu is now safe for picnickers and day-trippers."

The park, which has a waterfall cascading into several man-made ponds, was closed last month following the death of a 23-year-old picnicker, who succumbed to leptospirosis two weeks after he had taken a dip in the ponds there.

Abu Hanifah Redzuan died on May 18, while six of his siblings were admitted to hospitals in Sungai Petani near here and Kepala Batas in Penang after they showed symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms include continuous fever, severe headache, vomitting, sore muscles, body aches and bleeding from the eyes, nose and ears.

Dr Ismail added that the department had ordered 37 eateries, mostly food stalls, to be temporarily closed after the operators had failed to comply with sanitary and hygiene requirements.

He said inspections, carried out since early this month, showed that their premises were infested with pests, especially rats and cockroaches.

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