Alert: Gastro-enteritis Outbreak In Lagos
In the first week of November, the Lagos state government reported an outbreak of gastro-enteritis in the state. This is some information on the disease.
Gastro-enteritis is a condition that is primarily spread by eating or drinking anything that is contaminated by the organism that causes this condition. When a person has gastro-enteritis, the toxins produced by the bacteria cause an inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract. It is also referred to as stomach flu.
Symptoms of this condition include; abdominal pain, frequent watery stools, vomiting, chills, flatulence, fever and generalized moderate to severe weakness among others. These symptoms can be more intense in children.
A person can get this infection by;
- Contact with a person who already has the infection
- Eating or drinking things contaminated with the organisms that cause this infection
- Not washing hands after going to the toilet or changing a diaper
What to do
Should you or your child have the above combination of symptoms:
- Ensure to wash your hands with clean water after going to the toilet (This is very important because the disease spreads very rapidly)
- Replace fluids lost in stooling and vomiting with Oral Rehydration Therapies – for parents of young children this is of very high importance because children can dehydrate very rapidly.
- Get the person to a hospital very quickly especially young children with persistent vomiting and stooling
- Restrict contact to only one person caring for the patient and ensure that such a person washes their hands after every contact.
- When going to the hospital, do not forget to take your Hygeia HMO identification (Card or App) with you.
- Please wash your hands when you get home at the end of the day – this should be the first thing you do before touching children or eating anything. Teach children to do the same
- Ensure that fruits and vegetables are washed properly with clean water before consumption. Teach children to do the same.
- Wash your hands properly after using the toilets and ensure that you take extra care when you use public facilities.