Alert: Gastro-enteritis Outbreak In Lagos

Alert: Gastro-enteritis Outbreak In Lagos

In the first week of November, the Lagos state government reported an outbreak of gastro-enteritis in the state. This is some information on the disease.

Gastro-enteritis is a condition that is primarily spread by eating or drinking anything that is contaminated by the organism that causes this condition. When a person has gastro-enteritis, the toxins produced by the bacteria cause an inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract. It is also referred to as stomach flu.

Symptoms of this condition include; abdominal pain, frequent watery stools, vomiting, chills, flatulence, fever and generalized moderate to severe weakness among others. These symptoms can be more intense in children.

A person can get this infection by;

  1. Contact with a person who already has the infection
  2. Eating or drinking things contaminated with the organisms that cause this infection
  3. Not washing hands after going to the toilet or changing a diaper

What to do

Should you or your child have the above combination of symptoms:

  1. Ensure to wash your hands with clean water after going to the toilet (This is very important because the disease spreads very rapidly)
  2. Replace fluids lost in stooling and vomiting with Oral Rehydration Therapies – for parents of young children this is of very high importance because children can dehydrate very rapidly.
  3. Get the person to a hospital very quickly especially young children with persistent vomiting and stooling
  4. Restrict contact to only one person caring for the patient and ensure that such a person washes their hands after every contact.
  5. When going to the hospital, do not forget to take your Hygeia HMO identification (Card or App) with you.


  1. Please wash your hands when you get home at the end of the day – this should be the first thing you do before touching children or eating anything. Teach children to do the same
  2. Ensure that fruits and vegetables are washed properly with clean water before consumption. Teach children to do the same.
  3. Wash your hands properly after using the toilets and ensure that you take extra care when you use public facilities.

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