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Saint Lucia Records Increase In Gastroenteritis Cases


The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs in its usual monitoring of disease trends has noted an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases.

A 6% increase in cases has been recorded over the past week as compared to the previous week.

The majority of people affected are within the adult population and have been presenting mainly to the emergency departments of both the OKEU and St. Jude Hospital seeking medical attention.

Acute gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and the intestines and can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals or medications.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, headache or muscle aches. Investigations into the affected individuals revealed a sudden onset of symptoms lasting between 5 to 7 days.

Most cases have resolved with symptomatic treatment however, hospitalizations have been recorded particularly in young children who are more prone to dehydration and complications.

Both viruses and bacteria have been isolated as causative agents in stool samples collected to date. Gastroenteritis is spread by:

  • Direct contact with an infected person;
  • Consuming contaminated food, water, or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces then putting unwashed hands into the mouth; and
  • Vomitus particles in the air.

During this carnival season, where there is much food preparation and consumption, the public is reminded to remain cognizant of the measures to prevent the acquisition and the spread of gastroenteritis:

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water,

especially after vomiting, using the toilet and before handling food;

  • Don’t eat undercooked foods;
  • Disinfect contaminated surfaces and objects frequently to eliminate the virus or bacteria.
  • If you are sick, avoid going to work or school until 24 hours after your symptoms have passed.

Food handlers please ensure that the food prepared is safe and suitable for public consumption.

Do not prepare meals if you are sick. Ensure that your public health certificate is current and valid. Revelers, be sure to purchase food from recognized food establishments with a valid public health license.

If you have symptoms of gastroenteritis, please seek medical care at your nearest Wellness Centre if your symptoms do not improve or if you have signs of dehydration. You may be asked to produce a stool sample.

Let us work collectively during these celebrations to prevent any further increases in gastroenteritis cases.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Elderly Affairs wishes Saint Lucians a safe and enjoyable VaVal 2023!

SOURCE: Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Elderly affairs

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  1. Re Article,I am not surprised to know that..
    Over 2/3 of the people on the island consumes more alcoholic Beverages that a natural diet..
    The same amount of people can’t afford a proper meal and nourishment.. Those are FACTS..
    The working poor needs better wages to avoid dying prematurely, too many young people are dying prematurely.. The slave wages are killing the working poor and overworked and underfeed and also malnourished and can’t afford to live a longer life..
    Food for thought..
    A politician earn $20,000+ Monthly..
    The working poor $ 1,200-Monthly..
    It’s near impossible for the POOR PEOPLE to get ahead by being paid Slave wages . Currently..
    The poor workers drastically need a living wage system be established Asap..

  2. @ A llison, I support your call for a better wages/salary but majority of the other stuff you said is quite irrelevant, because equally said the poor are suffering the rich carries more disease than the poor and they are equally force to spend it which eventually only served as a payment for buying more time on earth. Smart thinking of surviving is what is most important that having an abondance of economic resource. Take for example you have a dog and you feed it only rice, it will never reject the food, nor will it ever reject sleeping out in the rain or under your bed. The dog will protect you however regardless of what will throw at him/her. The dog never reject his rice for stakes or BBQ or coke or whiskey as opposed to water. The essence of it all live within your means. Another realistic example, have anyone ever pay heed to a certain asian community of people who have restaurants all over Lucia, have anyone observed those people goes into the drainage or pond to catch the same fishes to consume that we lucian refused to eat, those said people can be seen harvesting certain vegs by the walk ways road side and other places to consume and yet we stupid Lucians refuse to cook at home, and go buy food from those same individuals at 14+ $$$ per meal. The thing is we only find to justify existence with Money!

  3. Allison what nonsense you speaking there. The poor people don’t have money yet they the biggest consumers of alcohol. The alcohol falls from the sky? A bag of cucumbers is $2.00. Less than a Bright or Piton. Tell those poor people stop spending money on the wrong things and watch how their lives improve.


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