Over 700 gastroenteritis cases reported

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MORE than 700 cases of vomiting and diarrhoea have been reported in Brunei since September this year, with most of the cases affecting children aged five and below, said the Ministry of Health (MoH) in a statement released yesterday.

The ministry urged members of the public to take preventive steps in stopping the spread of gastroenteritis, also commonly known as infectious diarrhoea.

Gastroenteritis is caused by viruses, bacteria in the stomach and intestine, which disrupt the intestines’ capacity to absorb water and cause dehydration in the body leading to severe diarrhoea, vomiting, stomachaches and fever.

While most gastroenteritis cases clear over several days, some cases will require a longer time to heal, said the ministry.

MoH said gastroenteritis can be transferred from person to person through food, drinks, hands and other direct or indirect contact.

The ministry said the best way to stop the spread of gastroenteritis is to ensure immediate family members, specifically children, wash their hands with soap after using the toilet as well as before and after meals.

Other steps to prevent catching gastroenteritis include disinfecting and cleaning toilets after use and avoiding sharing towels, flannels, cutlery or utensils with people who are unwell.

Those suffering from gastroenteritis are advised to avoid attending school, work or public places for two days.

The ministry said it will continue to monitor the situation and inform the public of any further developments. — Izzati Jalil

The Brunei Times