Doctor’s Concern Over Local Diarrhoea Outbreak

And issues advice for both prevention and treatment

Related Links

A Special Delivery For West Mid

Possible Viagra Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease

Hard Labour In Local Maternity Wards

Postcode 'Lottery' For Cancer Patients

Turnaround Teams Brought in to Cure NHS Debt

Thousands of local NHS workers face the axe

A local doctor has voiced his concerns after noticing an inordinate amount of patients complaining of severe and prolonged episodes of diarrhoea.

Dr Richard Baxter said, “Last week was busy at our surgery and the extra patients mostly seemed to be suffering a prolonged episode of diarrhoea. Our usual incidence of one case per week soared to around 12. A brief check with the other surgeries confirmed that they were also seeing more cases of diarrhoea.

“Infectious diarrhoea comes broadly in three flavours. There is your classic food poisoning where a bacteria has grown on poorly prepared food, but you don't usually pass this on to your family. There is the common viral infectious gastroenteritis passed on through the crudely named faeco-oral route. And every few years a dreaded wave of air borne viral diarrhoea sweeps across the country until almost everyone has had it and developed immunity.

“Where we suspect food poisoning, and especially where the potential source is a public risk (rather than a dodgy BBQ) we always send samples and report cases to the public health department. The fact that with this flurry of cases the majority seem to know someone else affected makes this significantly less likely. We have had none of the usual warnings about any threatening airborne epidemic. So on balance I think this infectious diarrhoea is faeco-oral viral gastroenteritis.

“As such it is relatively easy to avoid. Close attention to hand cleanliness after visiting the toilet and before preparing food is the key. Nose pickers and thumb suckers out there be especially aware, you never know where someone else's hand last went!

“Should you be unfortunate enough to catch it yourself then a quick look at the NHSDirect website is well worth the trip but essentially you need to maintain good hydration (drink plenty of rehydration fluid) look out for danger signs and wait while your body slowly recovers. I would definitely contact your GP if your diarrhoea goes bloody, worsens after the first 24 hours, or persists more than 5 days, if you develop abdominal cramps or a fever that is worsening, if your urine output significantly drops off despite drinking plenty, or if you are otherwise worried about how you are doing.”

August 11, 2008