‘No effluent on streets for several days’ 34 sick in Barbados gastro outbreak blamed on foodborne disease at business

The Jamaica Observer reports the Ministry of Health said it had conducted an epidemiological investigation into “a localised, food-borne disease outbreak at a specific food business” and that it was continuing to focus its resources on the south coast as it sought to contain any threat to public health as a result of the sewage spills in the area.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health reported that no new cases of gastroenteritis had been reported since January 3 this year, and that following the epidemiological investigation, 34 cases met the criteria for the gastroenteritis outbreak investigation.

“No other clusters of similar illness were reported from elsewhere in the area of the sewage spill. No organisms were identified through laboratory testing. Therefore, the outbreak has not been linked to any particular food or beverage, or the sewage spill,” the statement noted.

The authorities say they have been dealing with the sewage spill that has severely affected the island’s south coast and restaurants and other food outlets impacted by the more than year-long sewage crisis are being told they should not feel pressured to shut down, as the temporary fixes implemented by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) seem to be holding for the time being.