Monitoring viral illness

The Ministry of Health this evening reported that it was monitoring a situation at the St. Stephen’s Primary School, where 26 students took ill with a viral illness.

The students at the Black Rock, St. Michael school reportedly showed symptoms including vomiting, fever and headaches during the school day.

Officers from the Ministry, a release said this evening were dispatched to investigate the cause of the illness and some students were routed to either public or private physicians for treatment.

A source told Barbados TODAY however that the students were from a single class, but noted that the school was not adversely interrupted due to the illness of the students.

In fact, the source said some teachers were not aware of the illnesses until after school had dismissed for the day.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health stated it would continue to monitor the situation, while reminding any members of the public who experience similar symptoms, to stay away from school or work until the symptoms resolve or consult a doctor, if necessary.

Reportedly, only students were affected by the viral illness today, the source said, adding that nevertheless it was not a situation that scared or upset teachers whom the source said would likely be vigilant when school resumes tomorrow.

The Ministry also reminded persons to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the toilet; having diarrhoea or vomiting; changing diapers; touching stool-soiled or vomit-soiled materials, toilets or surfaces; before handling food or drink; after cleaning up vomit or diarrhoea from someone who is ill, and before eating.

In addition, the statement said, contaminated surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected immediately after an episode of the illness, by using a bleach-based household cleaner (BGIS)

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