Health ministry announces increase in gastroenteritis

There is an increase in the cases of gastroenteritis in Dominica and the Ministry of Health says the public should be aware of the disease, which causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

The ministry advises that individuals take small amounts of stool in a clean wide screw-capped container to their health center or personal doctor as early as possible if they believe they may have contacted the disease.

Gastroenteritis is caused by eating or drinking food or water contaminated by a bacteria or virus. It is also caused by the lack of or improper hand washing, especially after using the toilet or the handling of dirty diapers. These can cause the disease to spread from person to person.

The symptoms of gastroenteritis are vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, upset stomach and stomach cramps.

Following several key steps, which include hand washing with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before handling or preparing food, can help prevent a spread of the disease. If no water is available, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and keep foods at the correct temperature (cold foods should be kept cold and hot foods kept hot).

Individuals that have already contracted the disease are advised to drink a lot of water or fluids and give children oral rehydration fluids as directed by a health-care provider.

The health ministry says the condition is preventable and can be easily treated. However to avoid complications of gastroenteritis seek medical care if symptoms continue or gets worse.

Individuals seeking additional information on the subject can contact the Health Promotion Unit at 2663469/3470

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3 Comments

  1. Nathaniel Peltier
    October 31, 2010

    @A real Dr.: I agree a or the message is important.. BUT…
    Your Point being. Do as you are told or what?
    The message is if I am not mistaken, keep up proper hygiene and watch what we eat.
    I think this is a question that is more than ok. Can or are we able to differentiate between the 2.

    From your reaction I am more than concerned.

  2. A real Dr.
    October 30, 2010

    @Mikes: For a while I thought it was Dr.FET I decided you are a FET-alike. You questioned the M.O H’s acuracy.Yes you are correct in stating Gastroenteritis and Cholera have similar symptoms.
    The question you present re:”Have we been able to isolate one from the other?” You meant to have ask differencial diagnosis. Let’s trust this clears the air a little and you now able conceptualize your thoughts. You did state you are concerned.
    To Andrew Publishing this comes from a real Doc of ID.The name is of little significance.What’s important is the message. Thanks for posting in advance.

  3. Mikes
    October 29, 2010

    When I read today’s statement from the Health ministry and yesterdays on Gastroenteritis and cholera respectively, I can’t help but question the acuracy. This is because both desease seem to have such similar symptons, have we been able to isolate one from the other? Is it possible that among the increased cases of gastroenteritis there are in fact some cholera cases? Just a concern.

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