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Authorities discover outbreaks of food-caused intestinal infections in nearly 30 schools

Disease Prevention and Control Centre discovered cases of intestinal infections caused by poor food products in 27 education institutions last year, as reported by SPKC representative Rita Korotinska at a conference on eating habits of pupils of education institutions.

SPKC representative explains that the aforementioned cases are associated with a total of 11 outbreaks.

Data from the centre show that a total of 4,404 cases of acute intestinal infections were registered in Latvia in 2016, which, compared with 2012, is 7,000 patients fewer.

The representative explains that in 78% of cases, the reason for intestinal infection is different viruses that end up in the body from water, food, household items, dirty hands and other ways bacteria can spread.

Korotinska notes that reasons for infections in schools most often include improper storage of food products, unprofessional behaviour by school staff, insufficient equipment, and non-compliance with hygiene.

If two or more cases of infection are registered in an education institution, it is necessary to report them to appropriate institutions. Still, SPKC representative explains that often schools do not report such cases even though this duty is detailed in cabinet requirements.

The expert notes that there are two ways to avoid intestinal infections – follow rules for the heat treatment, storage, use and preparation of food products and follow proper hygiene.

The other way is using state-funded vaccines against different viruses.


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