Health officials are warning Dominicans that there is an increase in gastroenteritis on the island.
In a release the ministry of health said gastroenteritis is a condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It is caused by eating or drinking food or water which is contaminated by bacteria or a virus.
Lack of or improper hand washing, especially after using the toilet or handling of dirty diapers causes the spread of gastroenteritis from one person to another.
Symptoms of Gastroenteritis are: vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, upset stomach and stomach cramps.
Gastroenteritis can be prevented by following these simple steps:
– Always wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before handling or preparing food
– If no water is available clean hands with an alcohol based hand sanitizer
– Keep foods at the correct temperature ( cold foods should be kept cold and hot foods kept hot)
– If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of Gastroenteritis:
– Drink lots of water or fluids
– Give children Oral Rehydration fluids as directed by your health care provider
This condition is preventable and can be easily treated.
However to avoid complications of gastroenteritis seek medical care if symptoms continue or get worse.
You may take a small amount of stool in a clean wide screw cap container to your health centre or doctor, the health officials said.