Gold Coast residents are being urged to keep hand hygiene front of mind, following a major gastro outbreak across the city.
Nine local childcare centres and a school have reported outbreaks of the vomiting and diarrhoea bug this week alone.
The Gold Coast Public Health Unit said it is working closely with the childcare centres and school to reduce further spread of the highly infectious illness.
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But it’s prompted health officials to issue an urgent health alert today and warn parents about the importance of not sending children back to school or childcare too soon after they’ve been unwell.
“Children can still be infectious for up to 48 hours after their symptoms have settled, so it’s really important parents don’t send kids back to school or childcare for at least that period,” GCPHU Physician Dr Vicki Slinko said.
Dr Slinko warned that complacency about hand washing can also breed and rapidly spread gastro from person to person.
“Gold Coasters were excellent with their hand hygiene when we had some COVID-19 cases in the community through winter, but we can’t afford to relax now,” Dr Slinko said.
“With the AFL grand final tonight and Halloween just around the corner, this should be a reminder to not only wash your hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but to wash your hands to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis as well.”
Gold Coast Health said that to prevent passing on germs at home or when out and about, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and dry your hands properly.