St Lucia records increase in gastroenteritis cases
CASTRIES, St Lucia, (CMC) – Health authorities here are reporting a 14 per cent increase in cases of gastroenteritis, adding that the illness has impacted more children than adults in recent weeks.
Medical Surveillance Officer Dr Dana Gomez in a video broadcast said more people were presenting with symptoms at healthcare facilities and that the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
She did not provide figures.
“Most of the affected individuals experience sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea, which usually resolve with treatment of the symptom. Acute gastroenteritis is an inflation of the stomach and intestines and can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals or medication,” she stated.
She warned that the “very contagious” strain of the virus also referred to as “the stomach flu most prevalent during the winter season has been circulating and has been the cause of many cases of gastroenteritis globally.”
Gomez is urging the public to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus, including practicing good hand hygiene by washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, especially after vomiting, a bowel movement, and before handling food.
She also encouraged people with gastroenteritis to stay away from schools and places of employment and to seek immediate medical attention.
“The ministry also wishes to remind the public that we are currently in the flu season and persons may experience respiratory symptoms,” she said, adding that several influenza viruses including type A have been isolated and that the public should follow the health requirements to prevent the spread.