Ministry of Health advices on viral gastroenteritis outbreak

MoHThe Ministry of Health is warning against a combination of vomiting and diarrhea known as viral gastroenteritis or the “stomach bug” that is experiencing a recent peak with as many as 800 cases reported in the past few months in Belize and Cayo Districts. It is actually average for this time of year, but the Ministry is putting Belizeans on alert. The culprit is the “Norovirus,” referred to in the UK as the “winter vomiting bug”, and while it affects adults and children, those under 5 years of age are especially susceptible. Symptoms include fever, excessive vomiting, and signs of lethargy and so on. It is usually translated via touching the contaminated feces or vomit of an infected person or coughing in the air. The virus is highly contagious and can live outside the body for up to 12 days on contaminated surfaces. However the disease is generally self-limiting, lasting only a few days and not usually requiring hospitalization. As per usual the Ministry advises that you wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water especially after using the toilet or before preparing food. Don’t share towels, wash fruits and vegetables carefully and make sure all food is thoroughly cooked before eating

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