GASTRO OUTBREAK: Dr Michael Reinke says Bowen Hospital's emergency department has seen an increase in people with vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pains over the past five days.
GASTRO OUTBREAK: Dr Michael Reinke says Bowen Hospital's emergency department has seen an increase in people with vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pains over the past five days. Contributed

Gastro outbreak hits Bowen

BOWEN residents have been urged to take action following a gastroenteritis outbreak in the community.

Mackay Hospital and Health Service Facebook page published a post in which Dr Michael Reinke said the hospital's emergency department had seen an increase in people with vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pains over the past five days.

"If you have gastro please stay home and do not prepare food for anyone," he said. "This will help keep other people well."

Viruses that cause gastro can be found in the faeces or vomit of infected people.

"Gastro is contagious and can be easily spread in the air and by close contact, or even simply by touching a surface," Dr Reinke said.

Anyone with symptoms should rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and not visit patients in hospitals and/or aged care facilities to avoid spreading the infection.

People have been encouraged to wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 15 seconds before handling and eating food, after using the toilet, changing nappies or assisting someone who has diarrhoea or vomiting to reduce chances of catching gastro.

Mackay Hospital and Health Service advised anyone with gastro symptoms to consider the best place to seek treatment, such as GP or pharmacist.


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