|Officials investigate outbreak of diarrhea, vomiting|
|Written by Richard Greenfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Thursday, 24 May 2012 17:15|
UPDATED 5-26-12: The Turks and Caicos Islands Health Surveillance team is investigating a recent outbreak of diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting on Providenciales among more than 100 people who stayed in or dined at local resorts over the last several weeks.
On May 26, the Ministry of Health and Education (MOHE) and Environmental Health Department (EHD) confirmed that tests results for one individual confirmed the presence of Norovirus, a highly contagious viral illness which is common in outbreaks of gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) throughout the world. It can be transmitted from person to person, through contact with vomitus or feces of infected individuals, consumption of contaminated food or water, contact with soiled surfaces and bed linens etc. Other than supportive therapy, norovirus usually requires little by way of medical interventions and usually resolves without incident.
Grace Bay Club announced May 24 that it has stopped accepting reservations until June 1 to sanitize the resort.
“Currently, Grace Bay Club is providing hand sanitizers throughout the resort to all guests and staff, and all public spaces, kitchens, restaurants, plumbing systems and guest rooms are being thoroughly sanitized with bleach according to the safety standards of the Department of Environmental Health,” the resort said.
“Additionally, Grace Bay Club is providing medical assistance to affected guests, alerting current and future guests of the situation and offering them the option to adjust existing reservations without penalty. Once all guests depart the resort, a more extensive, full-property sanitization will take place.”
Sources tell the fp that Grace Bay Club was not the only resort where guests had the symptoms and that more than 100 people have been treated since April.
The government health team would not say how many have been affected pending the outcome of its investigation.
“We have deployed our public health teams to assess, to identify and report on the situation utilizing CAREC and PAHO/World Health Organization guidelines,” the Ministry of Health and Education said in a statement May 22. “Our top priority is to protect the public as well as the tourism industry from any further illness by containing this outbreak.”
The team asks that anyone who experiences the symptoms to report to any health care facility for evaluation and treatment. Those people may be interviewed in confidence to help pinpoint the source of the outbreak.
The ministry says hand washing is the single most important preventative measure to decrease the risk of infection. Hand washing should be frequent and thorough (scrub soap into hands for at least 15 seconds before rinsing, then dry with paper towels, a clean towel or blower).
The public is advised to:
If you become ill:
If You Have Nausea/ Vomiting/ Diarrhea and or cramping:
|Last Updated on Friday, 08 June 2012 16:04|
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