More than 110 gastroenteritis notifications in Selwyn

Friday August 24, 2012

​The Canterbury District Health Board has received more than 110 gastroenteritis notifications from the Darfield Medical Centre.

Six of the notifications have already been confirmed as campylobacter, but it is possible other organisms will also be identified.

The gastroenteritis outbreak is likely to have been caused as a result of problems with Darfield and Selwyn Rural water supplies last week.

The Selwyn District Council has since corrected the issue with its deep underground bore system, and water supplies were declared safe to drink on August 21.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Humphrey says gastroenteritis can easily spread from one person to another.

Dr Humphrey says people with gastroenteritis need to rest and keep well hydrated.

"It is helpful to have small sips often, every five to 10 minutes. Even if the patient is vomiting they are still likely to absorb some water. After 12-24 hours and if vomiting has stopped, patients should try eating small amounts of food."

To stop it spreading:

  • Wash your hands after toileting and before eating, after changing nappies, before and after preparing food, and after touching pets or animals. Use soap and water, wash hands for 20 seconds and dry hands for 20 seconds.
  • Patients must not prepare food for others.
  • Patients must stay away from school or work.
  • Use bleach when cleaning up vomit or faeces and throw away the cloth afterwards. Add 20 ml of bleach to a litre of water.
  • If you are looking after someone who is vomiting, use paper towels or toilet paper and throw away afterwards.

People should contact their General Practice team if:

  • A baby is unable to keep anything down for eight hours (young babies and children can become dehydrated after 12 hours).
  • A child aged over 18 months is unable to keep anything down for 24 hours.
  • The patient has not been drinking but still has diarrhoea and vomiting \
  • The patient has started getting stomach pain and it is getting worse.
  • There is blood in the patient's vomit or faeces (poo).
  • There has been no improvement after six hours for babies, 12 hours for children and 24 hours for adults.
  • There are signs of dehydration (dry mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, cold hands and feet, hard to wake up or very small urine output).
Page last reviewed: 24 July 2013
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