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There has been a significant rise in gastro cases in NSW

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A public health alert for gastro has been issued in NSW amid a significant rise in cases in recent weeks.
Rise in gastro cases in NSW

A public health alert for gastro has been issued in NSW amid a significant rise in cases in recent weeks.

It’s being driven by a spike in an illness linked to gastro, rotavirus, which is at some of the “highest levels of the past decade”.

The context

Emergency departments across NSW recorded over 2,250 cases of gastro symptoms in the last week. Cases are “particularly high” in children up to 16 years old.

NSW Health issued the public health alert on Wednesday to encourage the public to monitor for symptoms.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle aches.

Why’s it happening?

A rise in rotavirus infections, an illness that can cause gastro, is said to be directing the surge.

197 cases of rotavirus were recorded in NSW during the first two weeks of the year – almost five times the normal amount in this period.

Current rotavirus case numbers are at some of their highest levels of the past decade.

What can be done?

NSW Health recommends that infant children be vaccinated against rotavirus. This is two vaccines, administered at six weeks and four months of age.

Otherwise, good hygiene practices and keeping away from others if symptoms do surface has been advised.

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