Health officials with the City of Midland have noticed a recent increase in infectious gastroenteritis cases and are working to determine whether there is a common source of infection.


In recent days, several cases of contagious diarrheal disease have been reported in the Permian Basin to Midland Health & Senior Services.

Gastrointestinal infections may produce one or more of the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, nausea or abdominal pain. Symptoms usually occur one to three days after contact with the offending agent, and the illness lasts an average of four to seven days. City of Midland Health & Senior Services officials are interviewing patients within the community to help identify any common source of infection. Interviews that have been conducted to this point have not indicated that the illness is stemming from any particular food establishment.

The best defense against illness is prevention by effective hand washing with plenty of soap and warm water, and washing all vegetables and fruits, including melons. Intestinal infections often spread through poor hand hygiene, which causes intestinal infections agents to contact food eaten by others.

Gastroenteritis usually is self-limiting, meaning it will resolve on its own without specific treatment. Reasons to seek medical attention include more than 24 hours of vomiting or diarrhea, fever or abdominal pain and mild cramping.

Effective hand-washing to prevent spread of infection involves using towels instead of dryers when possible, and use of a towel to turn off the faucet. Citizens are also encouraged to carry hand sanitizer for use when adequate hand washing is not possible.