An outbreak of viral gastroenteritis (also known as stomach flu) was reported to the Health Bureau (SSM) on Sunday, involving six kindergarteners and a teacher from the Santa Maria Mazzarello School in Rua da Praia do Manduco, the bureau said in a statement.
The statement said that four males and three females, aged between two and 22, showed stomach flu symptoms such as vomiting, fever, stomachache, and diarrhoea on Saturday. The statement noted that two of the patients required hospitalisation due to frequent vomiting.
According to the statement, after investigation, the bureau said it believed that the case was not related to food poisoning but caused by a virus. However, further testing was required to determine the exact cause of the cases.
The statement noted that the norovirus and rotavirus are common causes of stomach flu, pointing out that they are usually active during the autumn and winter months. The statement stressed that the norovirus is highly contagious, especially in retirement homes and schools and through contaminated food or water. The statement noted that the norovirus has a 24 to 48 hour incubation period.
Furthermore, the statement underlined that rotavirus is more common among children aged six months to two years. The statement also said that the two viruses have similar symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, stomachache and fever, adding that the illness could last for up to five days.
The bureau urged people to be more aware of personal hygiene and not to attend work or school if they have symptoms of stomach flu. The statement said that if there are any multiple cases of stomach flu at a particular venue, please contact 2870 0800.