On Monday, 32 adults and 19 children from Savinjska Dolina were treated for stomach problems in Celje Hospital. A technical defect in the preparation of drinking water was discovered after the kindergarten informed the municipality about the children’s health problems.
“Yesterday (Monday) at 8:13 a.m., we received a call from the Šempeter Kindergarten that a large number of children had stayed at home due to stomach problems. We took immediate action and, in accordance with our protocol, checked the condition of the water source that supplies the area. We found that there was a technical malfunction in the preparation of drinking water. We fixed the error at 8:44 a.m.,” Jani Primožič, director of the Public Utility Company Žalec, said in a statement to the public.
Residents of the settlements of Matke, Šešče, Šempeter, Ločica ob Savinja and Spodnje and Zgornje Grušovelj were informed at 9 o’clock that the water was not suitable and that it was necessary to boil it. The measure remains in effect until revoked. As Primožič added, immediately after that, the municipality called an authorized laboratory, which took drinking water samples at three locations in the Šempetra area. According to him, the analysis will be known within two days, and then the cause of the abdominal diseases will also be known.
Norovirus was discovered in the hospital, they do not want to speculate about the cause before the end of the analysis
Celje General Hospital announced that 32 adult patients with digestive problems from places in the Savinjska Valley were treated in the emergency center throughout the day on Monday. All patients were treated, properly cared for and then discharged to home care, they explained. At the same time, 19 children were treated in the pediatric emergency center during the same period. After treatment and care, 17 of them were discharged to home care, and two were admitted to hospital for treatment, but their lives are not in danger.
In the hospital, the microbiological findings from the swabs taken from the first two patients showed that it was a norovirus infection. As they explain, this infection usually clears up slowly within 24 hours. They do not want to speculate about the causal connection between the infections and the problems in the water source in the hospital, adding that NIJZ is responsible for this. Today, a day after the mass infections, there are no more visits due to such problems in the hospital in Celje.
The mayor will act according to the NIJZ’s analysis and internal control in the municipality
“Just when you think that nothing new can happen to you after the coronavirus, it comes, allegedly in connection with questionable water. I can guarantee that we have already fixed the technical error,” said the mayor of Žalec in a press release Janko Kos. In addition to the analysis carried out by NIJZ, the mayor also ordered an internal control in the Žalje municipality. According to his forecasts, this will be completed by the end of the week, and then, as a representative of the largest municipality in the Lower Savinja Valley, he will call all the mayors of the founding municipalities to discuss the event at an extraordinary meeting.
Kos emphasized that he was glad that nothing worse had happened. He added that he is in constant contact with the expert director of the Celje hospital, who estimates that the matter is calming down. “I believe that everything will be behind us as soon as possible, but we will definitely do everything together with the municipality to prevent it from ever happening again, if of course it is connected to water. There is no 100% security, but we must always be on safe side,” said the mayor.