A warning has been given to the public after Victoria recorded a surge in gastro outbreaks in childcare settings this year.

There have been 389 outbreaks which is four times higher than the average and families, as well as staff members of childcares have been told to be on alert.

“Gastroenteritis can spread quickly through settings such as early childhood education and care services, where children play and interact closely with each other and can readily spread their bugs,” Victorian Executive Director for Communicable Disease Dr Bruce Bolam said.

“It is important that early childhood services have good hygiene practices in place and to respond quickly with thorough cleaning if any children become ill.”

“Hand washing with soap and water is still the best personal hygiene method to minimise the chance of spreading the virus.”

The Victorian Department of Health says that parents, children, carers and staff that begin to have symptoms of gastro should remain at home and stay there another 48 hours until after the symptoms stop.

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Further to this, advice has been given to help stop the spread: washing hands well with soap and water and cleaning surfaces often.

The Department of Health released information on the Top 10 outbreak hotspots to the public on Monday. These are:

  1. Greater Geelong – 29
  2. City of Casey – 17
  3. City of Wyndham – 16
  4. Yarra Ranges – 15
  5. Darebin – 14
  6. Ballarat – 12
  7. Knox – 12
  8. Maroondah – 12
  9. Hume – 11
  10. Moonee Valley – 11
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