Viral Gastroenteritis

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines has seen an increase in the number of persons reporting symptoms suggestive of viral gastroenteritis through the National Syndromic Surveillance System.

This has been noted in a news release issued yesterday by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment.

The ministry said gastroenteritis, is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It can be caused by infection with bacteria, parasites or viruses. Symptoms the ministry said   usually appear 12 to 48 hours following infection and generally last for one to three days. The symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle ache and fatigue.

The ministry said to decrease a person’s chances of contracting or spreading the virus, it is important to practice good hand-washing and other hygienic practices such as washing ones hand with soap and running water especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, before eating and before preparing food.

In regards to dengue fever, the ministry says over the past six weeks there has been one confirmed case of the dengue fever and that it continues to monitor vector activity and that vector control measures remain in effect. Visitors and residents alike are asked to protect themselves from mosquito bites and avoid creating conditions for mosquito breeding.

While Influenza A H1N1 or Swine Flu is endemic to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the ministry says no confirmed cases have been reported during the last six weeks and even though, the flu vaccine is not available within the public health care sector, it is available in the private sector.

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