Take preventive measures against gastroenteritis, MoH urges public

James kon

There has been an increase in cases of vomiting and diarrhea (gastroenteritis) in the country over the past three weeks said the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday.

“Gastroenteritis is an infection caused by viruses, bacteria or protozoa in the stomach and intestines, causing diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever,” the MoH stated.

“It can be spread through food, drinks, hands and surfaces that have been contaminated by an infectious organism that causes gastroenteritis. This infection interferes with the absorption of water from the intestines and can cause dehydration.”

“As in most cases, patients can recover on their own in time, but some cases require more time to recover. Patients are advised to drink plenty of water or drinking rehydration drinks available at health centres and pharmacies.”

The public is advised to immediately seek treatment if exhibiting symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, drowsiness or confusion, and unable to retain water in the body such as from vomiting after eating or drinking.

The public is also urged to only visit food premises or restaurants with a clean environment, and to avoid consuming salads or dishes with questionable standards of cleanliness.

Other precautions include drinking boiled water or bottled (mineral) water with an intact seal; ensuring that food is cooked properly and using clean water; frequent cleaning of hands with hand sanitiser or washing hands with soap and clean water after using the toilet, before eating and before preparing food; cleaning toilets with disinfectant, including the flush handles and seats, after use; avoiding sharing towels, cutlery or other utensils with other household members, if ill; and avoiding attending school, work or public places for 48 hours, after vomiting and diarrhoea have ceased.

The MoH will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public informed of any developments.

For information, call Talian Darussalam at 123, or visit the MoH official website at www.moh.gov.bn or official social media @mohbrunei.