Guard yourself against gastroenteritis

Staff Reporter

Doctors say care should be taken with regard to food and water

What one should doDrink only boiled and cooled water Keep the surroundings clean Consume freshly prepared food Avoid eating food and cut fruits from outside Avoid roadside urination/defecation Give Oral Dehydration Salts if a member of the family has diarrhoea or vomiting

Bangalore: The large number of gastroenteritis cases and a few cholera cases have put the Government on the alert.

With the authorities confirming that the cases reported from the Isolation hospital and other hospitals were due to water contamination, there is a need to take precautions regarding food and drinking water to avoid spread of the disease, say doctors.

"If a person has repeated vomiting and loose stools there may be dehydration, but there was no need to panic. The patient should be given Oral Dehydration Salts or tender coconut water or salt water immediately so that he does not go into a state of shock. Gastroenteritis and cholera are treatable," says K.R. Ravindra, consultant physician, at a government hospital.

Cholera is caused by bacteria Vibrio Cholerae and it is a special type of gastroenteritis. It is mostly caused owing to contamination of food and drinking water.

It occurs usually during the pre-monsoon months or soon after the monsoon.

Houseflies are known to spread the disease by contaminating food and drinking water with faecal matter. Poor hygiene can lead to a person being affected by cholera.

"One should avoid eating outside food, especially that which is not boiled. Cut fruits should be avoided. If the affected person is vomiting continuously he should be admitted to a hospital so that IV fluids can be administered," Dr. Ravindra said.