Kogi ‘Strange Illness’: 10 Early Symptoms Of Gastroenteritis

The Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, while appealing for calm over reports of a disease outbreak in the state told newsmen in Lokoja that those so far diagnosed were found to be suffering from Gastroenteritis and Malaria.
Early reports from the state Ministry of Health had in a statement put the figure of those who died at 62 in Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa all in Yagba West Local Government Area.
Gastroenteritis is an infection of the bowel and is sometimes called a ‘tummy bug’, ‘food poisoning‘, ‘the trots’ or ‘traveller’s diarrhoea’. Viral gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by one of any number of viruses.
Also known as the stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis can affect anyone throughout the world. This highly contagious illness spreads through close contact with people who are infected, or through contaminated food or water. It can easily spread in close quarters, such as childcare facilities, schools, nursing homes, and cruise ships.
The most common cause is a viral infection – such as with the norovirus and adenovirus. Food poisoning can also cause it, such as food infected with campylobacter, salmonella and E coli. Meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, shellfish and parboiled rice are the most commonly affected.
The infection, whether viral or bacterial, irritates the lining of the stomach and gut making the bowel muscles tighten, which in turn triggers vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
Depending on the type of bug involved and its severity, symptoms can occur from an hour to several days after getting infected.
Symptoms usually begin one or two days after infection and include:
watery diarrhea
nausea and vomiting
headache, muscle aches, joint aches
fever, chills
sweating, clammy skin
abdominal cramps and pain
loss of appetite
weight loss
becoming dehydrated
bloody stools
Symptoms can last anywhere from one to 10 days.
Gastroenteritis is easily spread. There are some things you can do to lower your chances of contracting the virus or spreading it to others.
Wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before food preparation. If necessary, use hand sanitizer until you can access soap and water.
If someone in your household is sick, do not share kitchen utensils, plates, or towels.
Do not eat raw or undercooked foods.
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
Take special precautions to avoid contaminated water and food when traveling. Avoid ice cubes and use bottled water whenever possible.
There are two vaccines for rotavirus. These are generally started when an infant is two months old. Ask your doctor if you should have your infant vaccinated.

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