Extra care needed in outbreak

An outbreak of a virus in a South Taranaki daycare centre has the Taranaki District Health Board urging parents to take extra care with cleanliness and disinfectant measures.

The outbreak has been confirmed as rotavirus, which causes gastroenteritis.

Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea among infants and young children.

Medical officer of health Dr Greg Simmons warned sick adults and children to stay away from childcare centres and take care in public because the condition was highly contagious.

The DHB said older people and the very young were often more vulnerable to the disease and that people working with these groups should take extra precautions.

Acting general manager of Southcare Medical Centre in Hawera, Elle Borrows, said she had received anecdotal information of a small increase in numbers presenting with gastroenteritis.

Symptoms of the virus include nausea, vomiting , diarrhoea , abdominal pain, muscular pain, headache, malaise, low-grade fever or a combination of these symptoms.

Rotavirus is spread via contaminated food and drink, touching contaminated surfaces, or direct contact with another person who is sick.

You can lessen your chances of getting infected by frequently washing your hands, carefully washing fruit and vegetables, cleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces, removing and washing clothing or bed linen after illness, regularly wiping down food and toilet areas with disinfectant and excluding anyone who has been sick from preparing and handling food for at least two days after symptoms have settled.

Taranaki Daily News