GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday January 11, 2017 – Guyanese medical experts are visiting three communities in one of the country’s 10 regions to get to the bottom of a gastroenteritis outbreak.
Since December last year, residents in Region 9 have been reporting an increase in the illness, characterized by vomiting and diarrhea, particularly in the communities of Aishalton, Shea Village and Areunar.
Health authorities confirmed that they were 58 reported cases of the infection in the three villages. Children were the main victims.
According to Demerara Waves online publication, Acting Regional Health Officer Dr Roland Cho Yoe, an infectious disease nurse, an environmental assistant and two pharmacy assistants have been meeting with residents to determine the source of the contamination.
The team made house-to-house visits and reportedly discovered that most residents were not sterilizing their drinking water.
“We looked at the animals, drinking water and mining,” Health Minister Volda Lawrence told the Government Information Agency.
She added that the ministry was awaiting the results of samples taken from the residents for testing.
Lawrence however suggested the situation was under control, disclosing that the villages had received a supply of medication.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministries of Natural Resources and the Communities and Indigenous People’s Affairs to remedy the problem.
Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It is typically caused by a virus or bacteria. Infected persons may experience stomach pains, fever, nausea, and headaches.