poisoning outbreakamong barge workers at Nanga Gaat, Kapit, 2015
Kapit Divisional Health Office, Kapit,
Introduction: A food poisoning outbreak was reported
on 24 March 2015 by Kapit Hospital involving 3 barge workers at Nanga Gaat
Kapit. One death was reported. The cases were reported as suspected Umbut
Matar poisoning. Umbut matar or Plectocomiopsis mira contains alkaloid, which affects human nervous system causing incoordination, fits, abdominal pain, vomiting and death. It has
similar physical appearance with Umbut laleh, an
edible local delicacy. Investigation was carried out to
identify causes and recommend preventive measures.
Methods: Cases were interviewed for their symptoms
and their one-day food history. Epidemiological investigation was carried out
to determine incubation period and attack rate.
Results: The most common clinical symptoms were
arthralgia (100%, n=3), followed by chest pain (33.3%, n=1), unsteadiness
(33.3%, n=1) and vomiting (33.3%, n=1). The incubation periods of the cases
were 15-60 minutes. Umbut Matar had the highest attack rate (100%).
Conclusion: Consumption of Umbut Matar has been found
to cause death. Based on the symptoms, short incubation period plus previous
occurrence of Umbut matar outbreak poisoning with similar presentations in
Kapit (2013) suggest that Umbut matar is the most likely cause of this food
poisoning. Recommendations are made to create awareness to public to
differentiate Umbut Matar from other types of edible Umbut.