Gastrointestinal Illness

Gastrointestinal or enteric illnesses are caused by various microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.

The specific symptoms and severity for each illness varies depending on the microorganism involved. The majority of the symptoms involve one or more of the following:
  • Diarrhea– can be loose, watery or bloody
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache

Enteric symptoms in children

  1. In the case of one episode of vomiting or diarrhea: keep child isolated until parents pick her or him up. If there are no further episodes of diarrhea or vomiting, the child can return to the centre in 24 hours.
  2. In the event of two or more episodes of diarrhea or vomiting, or one of each: keep the child isolated until the parents pick her or him up. The child must stay at home until 48 hours have passed with no symptoms.
  3. Clean up: wash and sanitize the child’s surroundings as soon as possible after diarrhea or vomiting episodes. Take special care with the diaper change area and with hand washing.

Enteric symptoms in employees

Employee must be excluded from work when they are infected. Return to work is NOT conditional on stool specimen results except in cases involving Salmonella, Shigella infection, or hepatitis A, and in outbreak situations. Remember to practice proper hand washing procedures.




Quick Reference

Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can be life threatening to a child.