About 180 people have fallen ill with gastroenteritis (in Singlish, it’s also known as lao sai) in the Owen Road area since Monday. The authorities were alerted after a vigilant general practitioner noticed an unusual increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases in his clinic since May 16. Other clinics around the area also experienced similar increases. When stool samples were taken, it was tested positive for Rotavirus, also known as gastric flu. Here are 5 things you need to know about gastric flu.
Symptoms of the virus include vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and abdominal pain. This usually goes away with the help of medication after a few days. Sometimes a person may also experience signs or symptoms of dehydration, including excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness on standing, or lightheadedness.
Rotavirus can be spread through hand-to-mouth contact. So if you have the virus and you don’t wash your hands after using the toilet… Or if a person touches your unwashed hands or a contaminated object and then touches his or her mouth, an infection may follow. The virus can remain infectious on surfaces for weeks or longer if the area isn’t disinfected.
They’re quite common among children ages 3 to 35 months and also among the adults who care for them. The risk is not so much from the virus but from complications from severe diarrhoea leading to dehydration. When your child becomes very dehydrated, health problems can occur.
Doctors can normally detect the virus from your symptoms anddddddd… your poo samples.
There is a Rotavirus vaccine that you or your child can take for prevention. For prevention, wash your hands thoroughly and often.
The authorities are working together with investigations and to help disinfect affected areas.