How to know if your stomach ache is already Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis, more commonly called stomach flu, is an intestinal inflammation that affects the mucous membranes in the stomach and intestines caused in most cases by viruses such as the norovirus and rotavirus. These viruses can be contracted through direct contact with an infected person or the consumption of contaminated food or water. Those affected report several days of diarrhea or vomiting, or both.
The disease is said to be highly contagious and can easily cause epidemics. There were at least 4,282 cases recorded from January 1 to May 20 this year in Pangasinan alone, as reported by the Philippine News Agency. At least 24 of them have died due to the disease.
Deaths are usually attributed to the virus, or in some cases the bacteria associated with gastroenteritis. For instance, norovirus deaths are usually a result of severe dehydration. In most cases, treatment involves trying to prevent those affected from reaching this point by replacing the fluids and electrolytes lost in diarrhea or vomiting.
Treatment usually just requires a lot of rest as the condition can heal in a few days. Sometimes anti-diarrheal or emetic drugs are prescribed to control the symptoms. In severe cases, confinement is necessary for intravenous rehydration.
While the disease affects everyone, children aged one to four years old are the most common victims in the Philippines. The Provincial Health Office (PHO) said they recorded 1,460 cases for males and 1,026 cases for females in that age group. They also face a high risk of contracting rotavirus, one of the viruses associated with gastroenteritis that commonly affects infants and younger children.
There are a lot of simple things people can do to stay safe from catching gastroenteritis. One of which is to simply wash their hands thoroughly before and after meals to get rid of potentially harmful microbes. Adults must teach children this practice and remind them never to put their hands in their mouths.
It’s equally important to check the food and water and ensure they are not contaminated. It’s advised to boil untreated water. Food, meanwhile, must be washed properly before being cooked. It helps to make sure the food is well cooked before eating. Because the disease is contagious, it might also help to avoid direct contact with those already affected to stop epidemics.
We at Maria Health also advise investing in health cards that cover gastroenteritis, providing anyone infected access to the medical care they need when they need it. Our website houses a comprehensive list of plans from the country’s top health maintenance providers (HMO) offering different types of medical care. Here are some plans we recommend checking out:
PhilCare Health Vantage
With the Health Vantage voucher, the beneficiary can have 1-year of emergency and hospitalization coverage including emergency room fees, doctor's professional fees, and medicine. Benefit limit starts at P40,000 for just P3,750 for adult plans.
My Maxicare Lite
The My Maxicare Lite plans provide one-time hospital confinement coverage of up to P25,000 from over a thousand Maxicare-accredited hospitals for the starting price P1,999.