Beng to CHO: Rachets up campaign vs. norovirus PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 April 2016 12:12

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

Mayor Beng Climaco has directed City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos to further strengthen the information campaign on combating norovirus, the primary cause of the sudden increase in diarrhea cases in the city two weeks ago.

Mayor Climaco said all sectors should be aware of norovirus- how it is transmitted, what it is capable of and how to control and prevent it.

Laboratory tests from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) revealed that the surge in the diarrhea cases from March 28-April 16 was caused by norovirus, a highly contagious virus which can be obtained from an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis) and leads one to experience stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea and to throw up.

The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.

The mayor said it is very crucial to intensify the information drive as most of those who got affected by diarrhea or acute gastroenteritis were children.

The City Health Office reveals that norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis and gastroenteritis outbreaks; it can affect nearly everyone in the population (from children to the elderly and everyone in between) particularly because there is no long term immunity to the virus and it causes acute but self-limited diarrhea, often with vomiting, abdominal cramping, fever and fatigue. Most individuals recover from acute symptoms within 2-3 days, but can be more severe in vulnerable populations.

The transmission of the disease can be person-to-person (direct fecal-oral, ingestion of aerosolized vomitus and indirect via fomites or contaminated environment), food (contamination by infected food handlers and point of service or source), recreational and drinking water (contamination from septic tank and chlorination system breakdown).

In healthcare, the most likely and common modes of transmission are through direct contact with infected persons or contaminated equipment. — Sheila Covarrubias