Gastroenteritis alert for Saint Lucia

The Ministry of Health has issued a Gastroenteritis alert for Saint Lucia, noting that there has been an increase in reported cases of the condition.

Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Sharon Belmar-George, has said that during the month of December, 2016, customary increases associated with that time of the year were observed.

However, she disclosed that above average levels were reported in all of the health regions into the third week of January, 2017.

Doctor Belmar-George said the cases are noted mainly in children under five years of age.

She had advised parents of children who have symptoms of gastroenteritis to keep the youngsters at home until the symptoms have subsided.

Common signs and symptoms of persons with gastroenteritis include; belly-ache, cramps, nausea, headache, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting.

In some cases individuals may experience several bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea in the course of the condition.

The Ministry of Health has said that one of the principal and sometimes overlooked ways in which contamination and infection occurs is via poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

According to the ministry, some of these overlooked practices and habits are: unwashed hands, poor preparation, handling and storage of food and water.

Persons with gastroenteritis have been advised to increase fluid intake and reduce intake of oily or fried foods.

In addition, the Ministry of Health has said that preventative measures including washing frequently with soap and flowing clean water especially after using the toilet, changing diapers and handling garbage, should be adopted.

The ministry is also urging citizens to wash and clean all surfaces on which food will be handled, promptly refrigerate left over food  and ensure that persons with open wounds or sores do not handle food.

“Be vigilant in knowing who, where, when and how food offered for purchase or public consumption is prepared and handled to avoid getting sick,” a ministry advisory said.

It observed that children can get dehydrated quickly.

“If your child has the stomach flu, it’s important that you look for signs that he is very thirsty or has dry skin or a dry mouth. If you have a baby, look for fewer, drier diapers,” the ministry stated.

According to the advisory, medical assistance should be sought immediately if someone is confused, unresponsive, weak, the fever does not go down, there is an inability to keep down  any fluids, little or no urine, there is blood in the stools, or if  the person has a serious underlying condition such as kidney disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Sharon terrell
    January 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    The environment some st.lucians live in is not conducive even for a pig, everyday its an out break of something, most people are very unhigeneic they dont wash their hands they are very unclean some have to learn about good hand washing and hygene.

    1. Truth
      January 27, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Plain and simple some just nasty just watch the entrances to their home says alot

  2. Anonymous
    January 27, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Since I read that my belly start hurting me already!

  3. True Vibes
    January 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Too much KFC

  4. raymonese neptune
    January 29, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    i have a restaurant and i try my best to keep thete clean but it is close to a house with a pig pen foul pen and a pit toilet i complain to the health people it is relly bad and nothing is done about it so i dont know where we are going in st lucia

  5. Just me
    January 30, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    The ministry of health not talking about the cruise ship that came in with the sick people. They knew that they were sick and they still let them dock. This is where that virus came from.

  6. Anonymous
    February 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    suffering with this all now so

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