Sunday, April 21, 2024

Food bug

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Barbados has a much bigger problem with acute gastro-enteritis and foodborne illnesses than senior health officials thought, including substantial “under- reporting and under diagnosis” and an estimated $16.5 million in related medical costs.
After three years of investigations involving the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) and University of the West Indies (UWI), a group including Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John and Chief Environmental Health Officer Tyrone Applewhaite has now concluded that these potentially deadly ailments “represent a considerable public health burden in Barbados”.
According to the new report Population-Based Estimates Of Acute Gastrointestinal And Foodborne Illness In Barbados: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study seen by the SUNDAY SUN:
“Evidence of a large burden of [acute gastro-enteritis] and [foodborne diseases] has been demonstrated with an estimated burden of 44 760 cases of laboratory-confirmed [acute gastro-enteritis], with an under-reporting of 99.5 per cent. . .”
 

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