Grant County Health District officials are investigating cases of stomach illness in several Grant County residents who attended a recent cheerleading event in Everett.
An outbreak of an intestinal illness was reported at a cheerleading competition in Everett over the weekend. The source of the illness is unknown.
The district has interviewed event participants and is asking people who attended the event and are currently experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea to call the district at 509-754-6060.
The district also has investigated similar stomach illnesses of residents in long-term care facilities.
Area physicians have been reporting an increase in stomach and intestinal illnesses seen in patients at clinics and emergency rooms.
January is usually the peak month for stomach related sickness, often referred to as the stomach flu, health officials said.
To prevent the spread of stomach illnesses:
-- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating or preparing food.
-- Carefully wash fruits and vegetables, and cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
-- Do not prepare food while having symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, and for three days after recovering from a stomach illness.
-- Immediately remove and wash clothing or bedding that may be contaminated with vomit or fecal matter with laundry soap at the longest cycle length and then machine dry.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for stomach illnesses. However, it is important to drink plenty of water to replace fluid lost through vomiting and diarrhea. It is recommended to spoon liquids in small quantities frequently if experiencing vomiting.