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Warning over vomiting illness

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Health officials issued a warning after a breakout of gastrointestinal illness.

The Ministry of Health said “clusters of diarrhoea and vomiting illness” had been reported in the community.

The ministry said people can be taken sick by consuming contaminated food or water, directly from an ill person or contact with infected surfaces.

A spokesman said: “Persons who have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea should not attend work and should not handle food for others while ill.

“Professional food handlers should consult their physician or the Department of Health before returning to work.

“Food that may have been contaminated by an ill person should be disposed of properly.”

Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should not attend school or a child care setting until 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.

Other advice includes:

• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitiser after using the toilet, changing diapers, or disposing of animal faeces.

• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitiser before eating or food preparation, and after handling raw meat.

• Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.

• Cook and store food appropriately. Keep hot food hot (at 140F or above), and cold food refrigerated (at 40F or below.) Protect food from insects.

• Use bottled water when travelling in countries where the water supply might be unsafe. In Bermuda, the Department of Health recommends that tank water be disinfected before it is used for drinking or food preparation. Common methods include boiling, ultraviolet light, and chlorination.

Advice to prevent the spread if a family member is ill:

• Flush or discard any vomitus or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.

• Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated.

• Disinfect contaminated surfaces such as kitchen counters and bathroom surfaces.

For more information and current alert, visit www.gov.bm/health-data-and-monitoring.