Don’t Let the Stomach Bug Bite!

This summer the Cascade City-County Health Department’s ongoing surveillance with the local healthcare community shows more patients with gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  These symptoms will usually begin suddenly and last about 1-2 days.  Although there has been a recent increase in cases, there are steps you can take to stay healthy.

 

“This type of illness can be caused by many different organisms, however any illness with these symptoms is often quite contagious, and is usually spread through contact with contaminated food, objects or people,” says Trixie Smith, Prevention Services Manager.

 

Oftentimes, these illnesses can be prevented with a few simple prevention habits. 

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers and before preparing or eating food. 
  • Clean and disinfect any contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness and immediately remove and wash any clothing or linens that may be contaminated after an episode of illness.
  • Don’t prepare food if you are sick.
  • Stay home when you are ill and for at least 1 full day after your symptoms end, because you may still be contagious.  If you work in a healthcare setting, a restaurant, nursing home or daycare and handle food you need to stay home for at least 48 hours after your symptoms end.
  • Keep symptomatic children home from camps, daycares, and other gatherings.

 

Some people may still be contagious, shedding the disease-causing bug for up to 2-3 weeks after feeling better, so it is important to continue thorough hand washing to stop the spread of illness.   Illnesses with these symptoms are usually not too serious and most people recover after a few days, but some people may be at risk of complications from dehydration.  If you are concerned or your symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider to find out if you need to be seen or tested. 

 

Visit CCHD’s Communicable Disease program to learn more.