Tummy bug bites Griffith

A SPIKE in cases of gastroenteritis has left Griffith pharmacies scrambling to keep up with demand for electrolytes. 

One local pharmacist suggested the recent spate of gastro may have been caused by a contaminant in the water supply, a suggestion council flatly denied. 

Pharmacist Abhijit Ghosh said sick customers seeking advice for the condition shared his distrust of the water supply.

“We can barely fill the shelves quickly enough with medicine for gastro symptoms, so many people are coming in to buy it,” Mr Ghosh said.

“People that are using filtered water or bottled water seem to be avoiding the gastro outbreak. 

“We saw it last year during the flood when there was definitely contamination in the water, but while this time is not as bad it could be due to another problem with the water supply.”

Council was adamant their regular tests of the town’s water would reveal if there were any bugs floating around.

Council’s operations engineer for water and sewage Steve Oosthuysen said that as far as he was concerned the water was fine. 

“There haven’t been any production problems, which is where we take the raw water and put it through the treatment process before distribution, so there is no reason why the water would be contaminated,” Mr Oosthuysen said. 

“We test the water daily for bacteria and conduct further testing to see if it complies with Australian water standards and we meet those standards every time. 

“If there’s some sort of evidence that it’s coming from the water we’d like to know where and we could take some measures.”

Mr Oosthuysen also rejected the claim that there was any contamination during the floods last year. 

There has been an increase in gastro type presentations to Griffith Base Hospital over the last week according to local health officials. 

Director of public health for Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) Tracey Oakman warned residents that gastro is a highly infectious virus.

“Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include vomiting and diarrhoea. Other symptoms may be nausea, fever, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle aches,” Ms Oakman said.

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