The Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement on Monday that seven children from Crèche Diocesana Helen Liang caught gastroenteritis (also known as stomach flu) last week.
The seven one-year-old children, six boys and one girl, are in the same class. The statement noted that the first patient started to vomit in the classroom on Friday, while the other children started to show stomach flu symptoms such as stomach ache and fever in the following days. The children’s parents sought medical help.
The statement said that two children were hospitalised due to frequent vomiting. The bureau said it believes the collective case was caused by a virus other than food poisoning, adding that further testing was, however, required.
The norovirus and rotavirus are common causes of stomach flu, pointing out that they are usually active during the autumn and winter months. The norovirus is highly contagious, especially in retirement homes and schools and through contaminated food or water, and has a 24 to 48 hour incubation period.
Furthermore, the statement underlined that the rotavirus is more common among children aged six months to two years. The two viruses have similar symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache 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.
The Health Bureau has reported a number of collective stomach flu cases since the beginning of the year.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by David Mao