By staff reports
If you are experiencing bouts of vomiting and diarrhea (or both concurrently), you aren’t alone. Stomach-related illnesses are on the increase in Wyoming, the Department of Health announced on Friday.
The Wyoming Department of Health put out a notice on Friday letting citizens know of the uptick but had no explanation for it.
The department did note that areas in the northern part of the state, including the town of Sheridan and Park County, and the southern part of the state including Laramie County, seemed to be hit the hardest.
If there’s any good news, there’s no mask mandate that comes with it, the words “explosive” or “projectile” are not included in the notice, and it’s relatively easy to prevent by the washing of hands.
But the department is recommending not attending graduation parties or weddings while vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.
In fact, if vomiting or experiencing diarrhea — or both for that matter concurrently — one should wait 48 hours before attending events.
That’s because it’s so easy to spread.
“We’re usually talking about extremely tiny amounts of poop or vomit we can’t see,” Department of Health surveillance epidemiologist Matt Peterson said.
Although it may be difficult to cancel a wedding or graduation ceremonies, it should be attempted rather than attending either and vomiting on other patrons — or worse.
The best way not to spread it or get sick yourself to wash your hands.
“Gastroenteritis illnesses can be prevented,” Peterson said. “It sounds too simple, but, truly, good hand washing is critical.”
However, if exposed it can take between 12 to 48 hours before experiencing sickness. Hopefully symptoms will alleviate quickly but vomiting and diarrhea — or both — could last for up to10 days.
Commonly described as “stomach flu” or “food poisoning,” gastroenteritis can spread easily when people eat or drink contaminated food and beverages, touch contaminated surfaces or through close contact with someone already sick.
Recommended steps to help prevent illness include:
· Frequently wash hands, especially after using the restroom or changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
· If ill, stay home from work and school, especially if employed in food-handling, healthcare or child care.
· Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of vomiting or diarrhea with a solution of 1 cup household bleach per 1 gallon of water and letting the solution sit for one minute. Always follow manufacturers’ safety precautions.
· Immediately remove and wash contaminated clothing or linens after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).
· Flush or discard any vomit and/or poop in the toilet and keep the surrounding area clean.
· Ill persons should take extra care to avoid spreading the virus by minimizing contact with other persons while ill and practicing good hygiene.