The Ministry of Health has noticed an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases in the Stann Creek District since December 2016. In over 50 percent of the cases, patients present symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, with abdominal cramps and fever.
The illness is mostly affecting children in the age range of one to four years, but present as well in children up to the age of 12 years, with a few cases among adults. As a result of an initial investigation for the month of January, a total of 242 cases has been reported in the said district. Of that number, 145 cases are among children of less than five years, and 117 among persons over the age of five. The communities most affected include Dangriga Town and Independence and Bella Vista Villages.
The Ministry has increased its surveillance activity from the start of this year and continues to remain present in the communities, engaging with the residents at health sessions and house-to-house visits to advise and assist in best practices to reduce further spreading of the illness.
The Ministry would like to reiterate the advice of proper handwashing etiquette to reduce the spread of infections.
How to wash your hands:
1. Wet hands with clean water and then add soap
2. Lather for 15 to 30 seconds
3. Make sure to wash your fingernails, between your fingers, and your wrists
4. Rinse hands thoroughly
5. Dry with a single-use towel/paper towel
6. Use towel to turn off tap
In addition, wash hands before and after preparing and eating food, after bathroom use, when handling garbage or soiled areas, and after attending to laundry and common surface areas among others.
The Ministry advises the public to visit the nearest health center if you or your child are showing symptoms of gastroenteritis, which include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps. Immediate attention should be given to anyone, especially children, whose symptoms are worsening.
For More Information Contact:
Dr. Marvin Manzanero
The Office of the Director of Health Services
Ministry of Health, Belmopan