April 5, 2023 -Health authorities in Grenada Tuesday confirmed an outbreak of gastroenteritis and acute respiratory infections. “Grenada is experiencing an outbreak of gastroenteritis. This condition is characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and watery diarrhea. Some individuals may have a fever and muscle pain and the symptoms normally last between one to three days,” said Chief Medical officer, Dr Shawn Charles.
“This increase in cases was noticed about three weeks ago and in the last three weeks, a total of 345 cases were reported. Now, this is compared to 70 cases that occurred during the same period in the year 2022. All age groups are affected but most cases are seen in the 01-04 years group range and 24 to 45 years age group,” he told a news conference.
Charles also said that health officials are dealing with the circulation of three viruses linked to the gastro outbreak.
“Testing of samples has revealed the cause of the sample to be the Norovirus. However, the Rotavirus and E coli, two organisms that also cause acute gastroenteritis, were also identified.
“This disease is transmitted by what we called the fecal-oral route through the consumption of food and water that is contaminated with viruses and bacteria,” said Charles, recommending that people who are infected should not engage in self-treatment but seek medical care.
The CMO also said that there is an increase in cases of acute respiratory infections since the start of 2023, saying “so far we have seen 3880 cases…this is compared to the long-term average of 2,354 in 2022”.
He said the respiratory infections are caused by several viruses circulating including the COVID-19, H1N1 or the swine flu virus, the Human Metapneumovirus, and the rhinovirus.
“All of these are circulating at the same time and that is what is responsible for all of these cases of the cold and the flu that people are experiencing,” he told reporters.