A record number of gastro cases reported in the past 12 months, has prompted health authorities to issue a warning.

The cases of potentially deadly rotavirus have more than doubled this year with 1255 reports compared to 447 last year.

Almost 60 per cent of those cases have occurred in children under 10 years old, reports Adelaide Now.

SA Health’s chief medical officer Professor Paddy Phillips said it was concerning there was a 180 per cent increase in the last year and reminded people to be mindful of hand hygiene.

“There has also been a 120 per cent increase in cases of rotavirus in infants this year, with 658 cases to date, compared to just 299 reported cases for the whole of 2016,” he said.

“While the virus is easily spread between children, this can be prevented if parents ensure their children practise good hand washing and are vaccinated in line with the childhood immunisation schedule.”

The rotavirus vaccination is recommended for children at six weeks and four months of age.

Prof Phillips said symptoms varied from case to case. The most serious patients could present dehydration, diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever.

“To reduce transmission, people with rotavirus should be excluded from childcare, preschool, school and work until there has been no vomiting or diarrhoea for 24 hours,” he said.

In August a Queensland Health spokesman acknowledged that the outbreaks were ‘significantly’ higher this year than for the same periods in 2016.

NSW Health also said there was a 34 per cent increase in viral gastroenteritis notifications across the state over the previous year.

If you or your child is feeling unwell it is best to stay at home so you don’t spread the infection.

Read more: CAUTION Gastro outbreak rocks

Share your comments below.

  • Nasty gastro’s and nasty flu’s this year ! I wonder what caused the increase. The practice of good hand washing, staying home when sick and vaccinations wouldn’t just have taken less serious this year ?


  • The same applies to adults. They should stay home from work and avoid going out in public at all. We were taught to wash our hands after using the toilet and before handling food including eating or having drinks. In fact if you know your hands are dirty it is wise to wash your hands before using the toilet too. It is a good idea to disinfect things like taps and other surfaces that you could leave traces of infection on.


  • Its a nasty gastro too. I got it and could hardly move for two days.


  • Early intervention is important. The moment you see that your child is sick, avoid letting him go in contact with other people, in particular kids. No school or childcare. This is something a lot of people don’t understand. A sick child stays home. Once he’s recovered, he can go back.
    Alarming really… 1225 is a lot!!


  • This is where the importance of hand hygiene becomes critical. Yes, teaching and reminding children but also a big remove for those who work in environments – home, childcare and kindy. Careers need to hold the highest levels of hygiene particularly when moving between care of one child to the next as well as in food hygiene.


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