Director of Family Health Services, Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, is encouraging Jamaicans to utilise the proper sanitation and personal hygiene measures, in an effort to prevent themselves and their children from contracting gastroenteritis.
Dr. Lewis-Bell emphasizes that this is critical, especially as it relates to hand washing.
The Ministry of Health is reporting an increase in the incidence of gastroenteritis in children across the island, due to the prevailing conditions of what is termed the ‘dry season’ or drought as well as the presence of cooler temperatures.
Caused by several viruses and bacteria such as Norovirus, Rotavirus, Salmonella and Campylobacter, gastroenteritis refers to a medical condition that is characterised by an infection in the gastrointestinal tract, which consists of the stomach and the small and large intestines. It is also broken down into two categories, namely viral gastroenteritis and bacterial gastroenteritis and is identified based on its causal agent.
Commenting on its trends, Dr. Lewis-Bell notes that there is a usual spike in reported cases of gastroenteritis within the first quarter of the calendar year.