A stomach disease known as gastroenteritis is presently plaguing Lagosians.
Gastroenteritis is a name for the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It is a bacterial infection that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. Its symptoms may include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, feverishness, a lack of energy and also dehydration.
Causes of gastroenteritis
This disease is contracted through poor hygiene, eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water. The consumption of uncooked seafood, unwashed fruits, and vegetables.
Prof Abayomi further disclosed that the increase in the number of cases of gastroenteritis is not unconnected to the persistent rainfall in Lagos and the attendant flooding.
“Patients with gastroenteritis come down with severe acute watery diarrhoea and profuse vomiting. Those infected with micro-organisms causing the disease to show signs and symptoms within 12 hours to one week after ingesting contaminated food or water. The disease affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated.”
The Lagos State Health Commissioner explained that the flood that residents of the state face comes with all kinds of harmful micro-organisms from waste, faeces, and urine.
Some of the worst-hit local governments are Lagos Island, Ajeromi, Apapa, Mushin and Ikeja. However, out of the 117 cases of gastroenteritis reported so far, 109 have been treated and discharged, the commissioner discloses.
The Lagos state government is also sensitising members of the public about the disease while also harping on personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.
What Lagos State has done to curb the epidemic from spreading
The health commissioner disclosed that following the report of these cases, the state also activated Rapid Response Teams at the affected LGAs led by the Medical Officers of Health.
As a result, they collected a stool specimen for laboratory tests to confirm the microorganism causing the vomiting and diarrhoea. Meanwhile, the government has also scaled up surveillance in communities within the affected LGAs to stop the spread of the infection.
They will publish the results of laboratory tests once they identify the source pathogen.
How to avoid contracting Gastroenteritis
The most effective way to avoid the disease is by doing the following:
- Eat well-cooked meals.
- Washing your hands thoroughly
- Avoid roadside eateries
- Drinking clean, safe water
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating
- Cook food thoroughly
- Dispose waste materials properly
- Always keep water containers clean
- Finally, avoid open and indiscriminate defecation
If you are a resident of Lagos, it is your duty to stay safe as the Lagos state government does its best to keep this epidemic under control. Cleanliness is paramount.