The State Department of Health (SES) issued an outbreak alert of acute diarrheal disease (ADD) after 25 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul registered cases. There are at least 2,000 people infected since the end of August this year. See the list of cities below.
According to epidemiologists, the disease, typical of underdeveloped countries, affects more children under 5 years old. Daycare and school environments are the most common locations for these types of outbreaks.
Symptoms include diarrhea that may or may not be accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever. It can lead to severe malnutrition and dehydration and, if left untreated, leads to death, which is why medical attention should be sought as soon as the first symptoms appear.
“The contamination is usually by water and, in some cases, by food. It is a serious disease that requires immediate medical care.. There is an estimate that around 2 million people in the world die from it”, explains the epidemiologist and professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Paulo Petry.
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In the epidemiological alert of the State Center for Health Surveillance (Cevs), it appears that the suspicion is that the contamination is associated with the ingestion of water.
Cevs advises the population to consume water only from safe sources that have a chlorine disinfection process or other technology. It also signals that it is important to clean water tanks regularly.
“These types of occurrences reinforce these preventive measures in relation to water, which must occur permanently throughout the population, regardless of the occurrence or not of these outbreaks”, comments the health specialist at the Center for Water and Food Transmission Diseases at the Cevs, Lilian Borges Teixeira.
The cases are still under investigation. The investigation and control measures are made by the municipalities, Regional Health Coordinations (CRS) and Cevs. Clinical samples from people with symptoms were sent to the State Central Laboratory (Lacen) in Porto Alegre. Water samples have also been collected in some of these municipalities, which are awaiting results from Fiocruz, in Rio de Janeiro.
“These outbreaks are localized. That’s why it’s called an outbreak. It originates in a circumscription. It is determined in one location. Now, Sanitary Surveillance has to identify the source,” says Petry.
Palácio Piratini, seat of the Executive Power of Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre — Photo: Reproduction/RBS TV
Cities with outbreaks under investigation
- Barra Funda – 26 cases
- Bento Gonçalves – 394 cases
- Carlos Barbosa – outbreaks identified (without information on the number of cases)
- Caxias do Sul – outbreaks identified (without information on the number of cases)
- Colorado – 19 cases
- Two Brothers – more than 200 cases
- Esteio – 144 cases
- Garibaldi – identified outbreaks (without information on the number of cases)
- Horizontina – 69 cases
- Lavras do Sul – 174 cases
- Mato Leitão – 50 cases
- Monte Belo do Sul – outbreaks identified (without information on the number of cases)
- Morro Reuter – about 20 cases
- Pinto Bandeira – identified outbreaks (without information on the number of cases)
- Porto Alegre – 3 cases
- Marine Saldanha – 228 cases
- Santa Cruz do Sul – 374 cases
- Santa Maria – identified outbreaks (without information on the number of cases)
- Santana do Livramento – 214 cases
- Santa Rosa – 28 cases
- Holy Christ – 14 cases
- São Marcos – identified outbreaks (without information on the number of cases)
- Sarandi – 49 cases
- Tucunduva – 33 cases
Recommendations to the population
- Consume water from safe (drinking) treated sources that have a chlorine disinfection process or other technology. If the source is unknown, in emergency situations, it is recommended to boil it before consumption and before food preparation for at least 5 minutes
- The cleaning of surfaces, equipment and utensils used in the preparation and consumption of food must be carried out with treated and/or boiled water
- Ice for consumption or food preservation should be made from potable and/or boiled water.
- Properly sanitize your hands, washing them with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, before preparing and handling food and before meals
- Keep sick people away from food handling activities and reinforce personal hygiene even after symptoms disappear
- Clean the water tank once a year or whenever necessary