4 Jun 2014

Diarrhoea in Solomons: 16 dead

5:14 am on 4 June 2014

The Ministry of Health in Solomon Islands has declared a nationwide diarrhoea outbreak which has resulted in the deaths of 16 young children in the past two weeks.

It says medical teams are dealing with the outbreaks which has affected over 1,000 people.

The Ministry says the outbreaks have been reported in six provinces, including Guadalcanal, Western Province, Choiseul, Malaita, Central and Makira.

The Health Ministry's Dr Chris Becha says diarrhoea is a leading cause of death in children under five years-old.

He says to keep their children safe, parents need to take their child to a health clinic as soon as they show signs of diarrhoea as it can be easily treated.

Dr Becha says rotavirus has been confirmed as the cause of the outbreaks in Honiara, Guadalcanal and Gizo, Western Province.

Rotavirus infections are highly contagious and spread through person-to-person contact, contaminated objects, or contaminated food or drink.

Dr Becha says symptoms, including diarrhoea and vomiting, usually appear between 1 and 3 days after being exposed to the virus.