MoH reports Gastroenteritis outbreak in wake of Erika

gastro1Just days after health officials reported an increase of Gastroenteritis, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is now reporting an outbreak of the disease due to the passing of Tropical Storm Erika.

The ministry said that there is now a total of 153 confirmed cases of the disease from August 28. Erika struck Dominica on August 27.

“The most affected areas are Portsmouth, St. Joseph and Roseau Health Districts,” the MoH said in a release. “As a result the Ministry has heightened its Public Health Response including its Public Education Campaign which has been ongoing pre-Erika. All Health Districts have stepped up surveillance and management of the disease.”

Gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, 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 a bacteria or virus.

It is also caused by:
• Drinking of contaminated water .
• Lack of or improper hand washing, especially after using the toilet or
• Handling of dirty diapers cause the spread of Gastroenteritis from one person to another.

The MoH has outlined the following in the management and prevention of Gastroenteritis:
-Avoid drinking contaminated water. Boil, or chlorinate water from rivers, streams and springs before drinking water.
-Boil all pipe borne water until further notice.
-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 treated water or fluids
-Give children Oral Rehydration fluids as directed by your health care provider.

The ministry said the condition is preventable and can be easily treated, however to avoid complications of Gastroenteritis seek medical care if symptoms continue or gets worse.

“You should take a small amount of stool in a clean wide screw cap container to your health centre or doctor. The Ministry would like the public to remain alert and protect themselves from getting Gastroenteritis,” the ministry stated. “Remember your health is your responsibility. Protect yourself.”

For more information contact the Health Promotion Unit at 266 3469/3470.

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6 Comments

  1. AID RELIEF
    September 18, 2015

    Once again Leadership and Management of this Crisis is in question. Several pleas were made and the authorities warned that if swift actions was not taken, we would experience an Epidemic such as what is being reported. As recent as Tuesday September 15th, the Ministry of Education was cautioned to keep the Schools closed until running water was available.
    Water is crucial at this time for drinking as well as general use. Yet, the crates of Bottled water have been distributed sparingly and not made available to those in need. The fear that people would be FORCED to drink the water contaminated from the passing of TS Erika, is now realized.
    What else needs to happen for the Authorities to TAKE a more Serious approach to this situation unfolding post Erika?
    The relief supplies need to be distributed to the people not hoarded away! It seems like no one is taking heed of the warnings or advise given out. Then after an outbreak, you have persons trying to fix an out of control mess!

    • The Real Facts
      September 19, 2015

      Generally, people need 6 to 8 glasses of water per day; medium size glasses which are probably one cup.
      How much bottled water did each person get?

    • ras
      September 20, 2015

      AID RELIEF, in the wake of tropical storm Erika Ministry of Health officials promptly and thereafter continuously warned the public about the need to make water safe for drinking! In fact during a press briefing carried live on all commercial radio stations except one, one of the officials actually demonstrated how water should be made safe for domestic use!
      Regrettably, many Dominicans do not take responsibility for their health and that of their children, and those very persons would want to lay the blame on the very officials who forewarned then ad nauseam.

  2. truththe
    September 18, 2015

    You are late with Education, this should have started day one after the storm because everyone was aware of the defastation. You all need to step up.

    • September 18, 2015

      @truththe, people just did not listen or ignored the warnings from the health officials. I listened to programs where people people were advised how to boil water and how to take care of their garbage. But I guess in disaster situation will happen…….

      • The Real Facts
        September 19, 2015

        Some probably did not have TV and Radio. Was this information given prior to T.S. Erika?

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