Parents are urged to be on alert for a rise in stomach upsets among children who have been in daycare ahead of Christmas.
Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton has issued a public health warning for gastroenteritis outbreaks in childcare settings.
There have been almost 60 gastroenteritis outbreaks in Victorian early childhood centres since the start of November compared to 19 in the same period last year.
This is highly infectious, transmissible in face-to-face contact and can impact people of all ages.
Professor Sutton has urged all parents and carers to keep children home if they show signs of the sickness.
Children must not attend childcare or group settings for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped.
Anyone who is recovering from gastroenteritis should avoid high-risk settings, such as hospitals, aged care and time with vulnerable loved ones.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, abdominal pain, headache and muscle aches, with more severe outcomes in the elderly and very young, according to the Victorian health department advisory. These can take up to three days to develop and usually last one or two days.
Hand washing is vital in prevention.
Children with gastroenteritis must keep drinking
Go to the doctor if your child is very sick
Watch for signs of dehydration: dry mouth, dry nappies/not urinating, sunken eyes, cold hands and feet, sleepiness.
For 24-hour advice, phone Nurse-on-call 1300 606 024.
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