By anguillian February 27, 2017 09:48 Updated



The Ministry of Health is currently investigating an increase in the number of cases of vomiting and diarrhea. Such increases are typically seasonal and viruses, such as the Norovirus, have become the most common cause worldwide. They are highly contagious and can cause very large outbreaks. In order to avert a large-scale outbreak here in Anguilla, the public is hereby advised of the following preventive measures against the spread of these viruses as well as other diarrhea-causing germs:

1. Practice proper hand hygiene
Always wash your hands carefully with soap and water after using the toilet and changing diapers, and before eating, preparing, or handling food. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing but they should not be used as a substitute for washing with soap and water.

2. Wash fruits and vegetables and cook food thoroughly
Carefully wash fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them. Food, including seafood, should be cooked thoroughly as some diarrhea-causing germs are resistant to heat. The Norovirus, for example, can survive temperatures as high as 140°F and quick steaming processes that are often used for cooking shellfish. Food that might be contaminated should be thrown out. Keep sick infants and children out of areas where food is being handled and prepared.

3. When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others
You should not prepare food for others or provide healthcare while you are sick and for at least 2 to 3 days after you recover. This also applies to sick workers in schools, daycares, nursing homes and other enclosed places involving a lot of contact with other people.

4. Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
After vomiting or having diarrhea, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces. Use a chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 1000–5000 ppm (5–25 tablespoons of household bleach [5.25%] per gallon of water).

5. Wash laundry thoroughly
Immediately remove and wash clothes or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool (feces). You should handle soiled items carefully without agitating them; wear rubber or disposable gloves while handling soiled items and wash your hands after. Wash the items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length then machine dry them.

For queries or concerns contact the Ministry of Health at 497-3930.

– Press Release
(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

By anguillian February 27, 2017 09:48 Updated


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