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Gastrointestinal Illness Precautions

15-Mar-2016

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region is aware that gastrointestinal illness is circulating in the community and could be brought into our homes, workplaces, schools and child care centers.

A few schools in Regina and surrounding area have already reported experiencing higher number of students and staff presenting with gastrointestinal illness. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, and low-grade fever. Gastrointestinal illness is very contagious and can easily spread from person to person, by sharing contaminated food, and touching common contact surfaces (e.g. door handles, faucets, telephones and hand railings, etc.).

Here are some simple rules to follow to prevent the spread of gastrointestinal illness.

  1. Wash your hands frequently with liquid soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after using the washroom, after a coffee break, before eating and before preparing food, as well as before handling ready to eat food products.
  2. If you are experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea please stay home. People with these symptoms can easily pass on their illness.
    • Ill people should only return to their workplace, school or daycare when their symptoms have cleared for at least 48 hours.
    • Ill food handlers must stay away from work until symptoms have cleared for at least 72 hours.
  3. Public facilities should increase the cleaning frequency of all common areas, including public washrooms, dining areas, stairwells, change rooms, and hallways. Close attention should be paid to the common contact surfaces such as door handles, faucets, telephones, counter tops and hand railings. A disinfectant product that is effective against norovirus should be used, if someone has presented with gastrointestinal illness.
  4. At home, if someone is ill with vomiting and/or diarrhea, clean the affected areas with a bleach disinfectant solution (2 tablespoons bleach to 1 litre of water). Close attention should be paid to common contact surfaces (e.g. door handles, faucets, telephones, and counter tops) in washrooms, kitchen and dining areas.

For more information visit Environmental Health's webpage.

For More Information:
Anne Lindemann
Communications Consultant
RQHR Communications
Email: anne.lindemann@rqhealth.ca
Phone: 306-766-0889