The Federal Ministry of Health has issued a notice to the general public alerting that “over the past several weeks, several children and adults have been diagnosed with and treated for gastroenteritis (GE)”.
Gastroenteritis is a medical condition marked by irritation or inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract namely “the stomach and small intestines”.
An infected person can transmit the illness once they have symptoms and up to 2 weeks after they have disappeared. GE typically spreads when a person comes in contact with the vomit or feces of an infected person or by touching contaminated surfaces or food.
The ministry advises the public to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of GE. In adults these include the sudden onset of diarrhoea with three or more loose or watery stools in a day, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, dehydration and fever.
In children 2 years and older the symptoms include: persistent or worsening abdominal pain; fever lasting for more than 48 hours; rash; frequent vomiting for 4 to 6 hours despite administering small amounts of fluids; and frequent and abundant diarrhea lasting for more than 7 days.
Parents of children are advised to monitor infected children very closely and seek medical care urgently if the child is under 2 years of age regardless of the symptoms.