The Ministry of Health is reminding the public, especially parents of small children, to pay particular attention to their children for signs of Gastroenteritis following the persistent rainfall over the island.
The symptoms of this illness include one or more of the following: diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach upset. The affected person may also have headache, fever, and abdominal cramps (stomach aches).
Gastroenteritis is a condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines. An infection may be caused by bacteria or parasite in spoiled food, unclean water or dirty hands.
Medication should not be used to stop the diarrhea or vomiting. Oral Rehydration Fluid (ORF) should be used to replace the water and special substances that are lost as a result of vomiting and/or diarrhea. Continue to give ORF until the child gets better although this treatment will not stop or shorten the course of diarrhea. Vomiting should stop within two days and the running belly should stop within a week. Continue to give lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
If a child is breast fed, continue breastfeeding your child frequently. In addition, other fluids such as coconut water, diluted fruit juices as well as plain water can also be given. Do not give sweet drinks.
Gastroenteritis can cause death especially in young children less than five (5) years old.