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Stomach Flu outbreak

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The Ministry of Health issued an advisory informing the public of an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis cases commonly known as stomach flu.  Gastroenteritis is caused by contaminated food whereby the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed which may result in both diarrhea and dehydration cases.  Love News spoke with the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero.

Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Week two and three in December is when we started to see a little bit of a spike across the country. It doesn’t seem to be bacterial in origin, it seems to be viral and that is the reason why we put out basic hand washing reminders in that press release.”

Reporter

“What is the difference between bacterial and viral?”

Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“When in bacterial diarrhea cases can be much more complicated as they will usually require antibiotics, it may not be appearing as easily as a viral diarrheal case. When it’s a viral case the spread may be much quicker and usually, these are considered to be self-limiting in the sense that after two or three days it will be resolved without having to require antibiotics or other than treatments of the symptoms as they appear.”

Manzanero went on to explain how the illness should be treated.

Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“These are self-limiting conditions which mean keeping everyone properly hydrated is going to be the best way to ensure that there are no further complications. Self-medicating with antibiotics or other more aggressive treatments is not normally recommended and should not be done unless it’s in consultation with the treating doctor and most instances within two to three days the body will pretty much take care of the infection. Not only for the child but everybody at home there needs to be proper hand washing, clean running water and we should use soap to wash the hands not just the antibacterial little plastic gadgets that seem to be the norm proper hand washing is going to make sure that the virus is not going on any further. Ensuring also that whenever you are going out to eat that whoever is preparing the food is doing proper hand hygiene and washing hands before and after using the bathroom to try to minimize the further spread.”

To avoid getting stomach flu the public is advised to wash hands properly and thoroughly cook food.

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