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Mar 23, 2010

Gastroenteritis on the rise in Belize

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

Nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea: do these sound familiar? If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms you may have been affected by a wave of gastroenteritis, which is spreading like wildfire. The illness might also have you achy within a day and according to Doctor Fernando Cuellar, one third of persons have it so severe, they end up in the hospital for treatment. Several doctors have noted an increase in cases so News Five sat down today with Cuellar, an internist and Intensivist, to try and find out why and how you can avoid being the next infected patient.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Internist/Intensivist

“I would think that perhaps over the past three to four weeks, we’ve definitely seen a marked increase in the number of cases when it comes to gastroenteritis—by that I mean vomiting and diarrhea—and we’ve seen it in both the adults population and the kids. Just this morning I was talking to my pediatrics colleagues who have also confirmed that they have seen quite a number, perhaps tenfold in the number of cases that they have seen Cases of diarrhea and vomiting over the past weeks.”

Delahnie Bain

“Any idea what has caused this increased?”

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“Good question. It seems to be more viral, although we don’t have anything definitive and by that I mean that we haven’t had any in depth testing so far. But by the way how it presents and by the way how some of the lab results are coming back, it seems like something viral that’s causing it and particularly we’re suspicious of the rotavirus. In less amount we’re seeing quite a bit of salmonella. Salmonella is a bacteria. So it’s torn between more the viral but I would think maybe a three quarter viral and a quarter bacteria. The most important issue is the avoidance, the prevention and that is basically practicing basic good hygiene, washing of hands—soap and water, you can’t go wrong and that’s the best and most effective way of avoiding getting infected. Make sure your food are properly cooked and make sure the water or whatever juices you use are made from a good source of clean water.”

Dr. Cuellar recommends that you seek out your doctor if you have more than one bout of diarrhea per hour or if you become intolerant to fluids and start vomiting. Before the symptoms become severe, it is recommended that to hydrate yourself with water, Gatorade, over the counter hydration salts among others.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Gastroenteritis on the rise in Belize”

  1. maddyvandijk says:

    Gastroenteritis mostly affects adults and children, adults have a chance to cure it by taking aspirin, or antibiotics, while the infant sickness should certainly be looked at with emergency. It can also clear up by itself, while the bacterial infections can last longer and may require medication.
    Prevention is the key, Belizeans need to take better care of the way they prepare or stored food properly. Gastroenteritis is also contracted by eating foods which have been stored improperly or prepared in an unclean environment.

  2. sureluckhomie says:

    flatulence like flattery is also on teh rise my dear watson

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