An outbreak of diarrhea on the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has resulted in nine fatalities due to extreme dehydration, according to a local media report Saturday. Outbreaks have been confirmed in Malampa, Penama and Sanma provinces.

George Worwor, The Surveillance, Research, Outbreak and Response Coordinator said that health surveillance teams were allocated throughout the country to detect and combat viruses and other microorganisms that cause diarrhea – “The purpose of these surveillance systems is to detect outbreaks and syndromic diseases that will give an alert to whether it is an outbreak or not.”

Parents are being advised to seek medical attention if their children reveal early symptoms of diarrhea as health officials say that you can’t wait until the illness gets in the later stages.

Worwor said, “Parents need to watch their children carefully and follow advice advice from the Ministry of Health and the WHO which is not to use antibiotics for viral illnesses unless it’s bloody diarrhea and if your child has early stages of diarrhea just maintain basic hygiene.”

Image/ M.Minderhoud via Wikimedia Commons
Image/ M.Minderhoud via Wikimedia Commons