|Take the Necessary Precautions to Reduce the Spread of Gastroenteritis|
|Friday, 11 January 2013 07:30|
The Ministry of Health is urging persons to take the necessary precautions to reduce the spread of gastroenteritis. The Ministry generally records an increase in the total number of cases of gastroenteritis at this time of year and so is warning that parents in particular take steps to protect children from the illness.
Gastroenteritis is a disease spread mainly by contaminated water or food and by dirty hands or utensils. It is highly contagious. If left untreated it can cause death by dehydration, which may be as a result of the excess vomiting and diarrhoea associated with the illness if fluids are not replaced quickly. Children and the elderly are most at risk.
Director, Family Health Services, Dr. Karen Lewis Bell, says the best ways to reduce the spread of gastroenteritis include washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the toilet, before preparing and eating food and drink and before breast feeding or taking care of infants, children or the elderly.
She adds that “persons should look out for the signs of dehydration and seek immediate medical care so that they can be adequately treated in a timely manner. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, sunken eyes, sunken moles in children, weakness, reduced play, absence of tears when crying, and decreased output of urine.”
Symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhoea or running belly, fever and stomach gripes. The most important aspect in the care of persons with gastroenteritis is to replace the fluids lost by frequently giving small amounts of clear fluids such as coconut water, oral rehydration fluid or plain boiled water.
For more information contact the Ministry of Health or your nearest Health Centre.
Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561
You can view this press release and other information on our website at www.moh.gov.jm