| Azaraimy HH |
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday reported an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases, a disease caused by a viral infection, bacteria or protozoa in the stomach and intestines that causes diarrhea, vomiting, stomachache and fever.
The MoH said the cases were mostly among children aged five years and below.
MoH records showed an average of 150 children a month going to government hospitals for gastroenteritis treatment.
However, the total increased to 292 children in August this year and 317 between September 1 and 20.
The MoH said it is taking the matter seriously and conducting an investigation which includes lab analysis, as well as increasing monitoring to identifying the source of this problem.
Normally, a patient will heal by himself but there are cases which need a long time to heal.
Those suffering from gastroenteritis, which causes dehydration, are advised to consume a lot of water or oral rehydration salts.
However, the MoH advised treatment at health centres or hospitals for those experiencing the following conditions – inability to retain water in the body such as vomiting or diarrhea continuously, very painful stomachache, feeling weak, sleepy, confused or disoriented or having fits.
Gastroenteritis spreads easily through contact with an infected person’s vomit or stool.
For that reason, the MoH advised people to take precautionary steps to keep clean such as washing hands with soap and water after using the toilet as well as before and after meals, keeping the toilet clean, including the flush and seat area using germ disinfectant and by not sharing personal belongings such as towel, cloths and eating utensils with an infected person.
As more people are expected to be admitted to hospitals for treatment, the MoH is asking the public to follow the hospital visiting regulations to prevent the disease from spreading.
Only two visitors are allowed to visit a patient at a time. Children under 12 are not allowed to enter hospital wards.
Visitors must wash their hands with water and soap or hand-sanitiser before and after visiting the patients.
Visitors who are unwell or have a fever are not allowed to visit the patients.
The public can contact the “Healthline” 145 during office hours or 7180991 outside working hours for more information.