Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Health Ministry issues gastroenteritis and leptospirosis alerts

Published:Wednesday | May 17, 2017 | 5:47 PM
A truck drives through flood waters in the Cave Valley community of Clarendon on Tuesday. – Ricardo Makyn Photo

The Health Ministry has issued gastroenteritis and leptospirosis alert following heavy rains over the past two days.

The ministry is urging people to ensure healthy practices for their safety.

Here are some things you should remember:
1) Avoid swimming or wading in water which has resulted from flooding
2) Avoid eating foods that might have been contaminated with animal urine.
3) If you are exposed to contaminated water or soil because of your job, wear protective clothing and footwear.

Symptoms of Leptospirosis:
1) High fever
2) Severe headache
3) Chills
4) Muscle aches
5) Vomiting
6) Jaundice
7) Abdominal pain
8) Diarrhoea
9) Rash

If any of these symptoms occur, should immediately seek medical attention.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis:
1) Diarrhoea
2) Vomiting
3) Nausea and stomach upset
4) 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.

Treatment:
*Medication should not be used to stop the diarrhoea or vomiting.

*Oral re-hydration fluid should be used to replace the water and special substances that are lost as a result of vomiting and/or diarrhoea.

*Continue to give oral re-hydration fluid until the child gets better although this treatment will not stop or shorten the course of diarrhoea.

*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 breast-feeding 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 years old.