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How to Protect Against the Recent Viral Gastroenteritis Outbreak

by Lou-Ann Jordan Aug 1, 2022

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This year there was a significant change in the spread of COVID-19 in Grenada. Although the virus is still very much present, there has been a substantial decrease in the number of causalities.

Of course, we cannot afford to become complacent. We must continue to employ the safety guidelines to secure our health and that of our loved ones. However, as we grapple with COVID-19, trying to arrive at a place where its effects are less detrimental, we face new health concerns. The Ministry of Health has advised that there is an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis on the island. 

In case you’re wondering, gastroenteritis is a condition, a viral or bacterial stomach bug, that results in diarrhoea, vomiting and a slight fever. Some additional symptoms may include stomach ache, nausea, and headache. Gastroenteritis can occur in adults or children. However, younger children and older adults are more susceptible, or persons with a weakened immune system.

Highly contagious, it is spread by sharing food and eating utensils or touching contaminated spaces and then one’s mouth. Therefore, it is best that those who have contracted it self-isolate. Typically, it goes away within a week or so. 

We want to help you and your family stay safe. Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from viral gastroenteritis.

Wash your hands. Since COVID-19, this has become a part of our daily routine. However, it cannot be overemphasised. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, remembering to do so before you eat or after using the toilet. Although we’ve come to rely on hand sanitisers, the United Kingdom National Health Service advises that because they are not always effective, it’s best to wash your hands frequently.

Clean your surfaces thoroughly. Here’s another tip that has more than likely become a regular practice. Be sure to clean surfaces with a disinfectant or bleach. Doorknobs, tabletops, counters, and light switches are a few places that can quickly become contaminated.

Don’t share eating utensils. If someone in your household has contracted gastroenteritis, you should avoid sharing cutlery and utensils. Also, it would be best if you didn’t share towels. 

Clean up with care. When caring for a loved one, carefully clean up excrement or vomit. Attire yourself appropriately with a mask and gloves, and clean surfaces with bleach.

Cook food thoroughly. Be sure the food you consume has been cooked properly. You should refrigerate your food and avoid eating anything past the due date.

To learn more about how to keep you and your loved ones safe from gastroenteritis, visit the Ministry of Health, Wellness & Religious Affairs on Facebook.

Sources: Ministry of Health, Wellness & Religious Affairs and National Health Services.