The Ministry of Health and Social Services is alerting the public of an increase in the number of persons presenting at local health facilities with vomiting and diarrhoea suspected to be gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and lining of the intestines due to a virus, bacteria, or parasite. Currently, the cause of the infection is unknown.
Along with vomiting and diarrhoea, infected persons may experience nausea, stomach, pain, and fever. In most cases the symptoms will subside on their own after two to three days.
However, babies, young children and the elderly are at risk of severe complications due to dehydration and should be monitored for signs to include tiredness, dry mouth, crying with no tears, passing less urine than normal and discoloured urine.
Residents experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis may self -treat with over-the counter medication for pain, vomiting and oral rehydration preparations.
The Ministry of Health recommends that medical attention be accessed at the first signs of dehydration and/or for symptoms lasting more than three days.
The Ministry further advises that the infection is contagious and easily spread through person-to-person contact. Workplaces, schools, and households should therefore ensure that common spaces are disinfected frequently, and individuals should practice good hand hygiene to decrease the risk of contracting the infection.