November 1, 2022 – Parents Attention: If your child is showing signs of a stomach bug, do so Not Send them to school or daycare.
That’s the take-home message in a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, which finds that nearly 90% of acute gastroenteritis outbreaks in schools and childcare settings are caused by personal contact.
“Physicians should encourage parents to keep children out of school for up to 24 hours after symptoms have subsided, as the virus may continue to clear after symptoms stop,” says Janine Corey, a spokeswoman for the CDC.
It also encouraged pediatricians to strengthen Good hygiene habits With parents, including making sure children stay home if they are sick and that they are wash their hands Using warm soapy water, as most hand sanitizers are not effective against the germs often associated with gastrointestinal outbreaks in children.
The report published in the magazine Pediatricsbased on an analysis by CDC researchers and colleagues of more than 4,600 outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis — what many people call the “stomach flu.” – between 2009 and 2020.
Most outbreaks in schools occurred between October and March, and usually involved viral infections. About 86% of all outbreaks in the study were linked to personal contact. Nearly two-thirds of all outbreaks during the study period involved strains of norovirus or shigella bacteria.
Symptoms of norovirus infection include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain, according to the CDC. shigellosiscause infection shigella, It can cause bloody stools, diarrhea, a high temperature, severe stomach cramps and tenderness, and dehydration.
Schools and childcare centers accounted for an average of 457 outbreaks and 15,779 cases per year during the study period. (The number of outbreaks decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as children stayed home during the lockdown, according to the researchers.)
While the outbreaks in schools were much larger than those in childcare centers, the disease persisted in childcare centers for much longer. Outbreaks in schools lasted 9 days, on average, while outbreaks in childcare centers lasted an average of 15 days. Researchers reported that about 98% of outbreaks were responsible for at least one emergency room visit.
bacteria outbreak It may be more prevalent in childcare facilities because of diaper babies, poor hand hygiene, and the children’s young age, researchers say.
Tim Goss, a pediatrician and internist in Seattle, says making field calls about norovirus and shigellosis is a routine part of his day—especially during the school year.
“The phrase ‘something about nursery’ is heard daily in clinics and emergency rooms,” he says.
“As practicing clinicians, we often get caught up in not seeing the forest for the trees. We often see individual patient needs but not the larger trends. Thanks to this study, we now have an overview of the gastroenteritis landscape,” says Joss.