What Exactly Is Gastroenteritis & How To Treat It, According To A Doctor

In another case of serious food poisoning cases in Singapore, 109 children fell ill and 15 people were sent to hospital after a gastroenteritis outbreak at four PCF Sparkletots Preschool centres. Parents reported that their kids had symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting and high fever of up to 39 degrees. The source of the outbreak has been traced to food catered by Kate’s Catering.

Photo: 123RF

The Straits Times reports that it’s the third such case in preschools in the span of a few months, and quite worrying if you’re a parent with young kids. In February 2019, Tanglin MindChamps preschool was hit with a gastroenteritis outbreak that affected 30 kids and one staff member, while another 14 kids at PCF Toa Payoh experienced vomiting and diarrhoea after lunch.

And of course, who can forget the Spize incident on November 6 last year, that saw 81 people falling ill after eating catered bento boxes, which proved fatal for a 38-year-old customer. Then, on November 23, 190 people (including SCDF officers) were hit with food poisoning from eating TungLok Catering food at the Singapore Expo.

Just three days later, 131 people, including six-year-old kindergarten students and their teachers, were struck with the bug after eating food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer and Manufacturer.

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But what exactly is gastroenteritis, and how common is it? Why did the Spize customer die from it, and how can it be treated?

We asked Dr Shravan Verma, founder and CEO of Speedoc (a medical service app which provides 24/7 house call doctor services), to break down everything you need to know about the illness:

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