Islamabad - Overeating as well as unhygienic food and environmental are landing hundreds of people including children at hospitals, as about 4,275 patients suffering from gastroenteritis have been treated only at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) since the first of Ramazan.

The PIMS Adult Emergency Department have treated 2,850 patients suffering from gastro. Of them 15 per cent suffered from severe dehydration and the hospital admitted many patients to treat severe dehydration. The emergency department of Children’s Hospital, PIMS, have also treated 1,425 children since the start of the holy month. Many young babies and children suffered severe dehydration due to diarrhoea and vomiting.

Most of the patients came after Sehr and Iftar timings but so far no death has been reported, said Dr Waseem Khawaja of gastrology department of PIMS. Gastro is caused due to unhygienic environment, food and water, he explained. The illness is triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system and typical symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting, he added.

“People mostly consume crispy food items and beverages from market that are substandard. Even reputable bakeries and big brands do not maintain the required standards,” he said. He suggested to drinking boiled water and avoiding overeating and unhealthy food items from market. He also advised people to make sure that foods are thoroughly cooked.

He advised to wash hands thoroughly saying: “Make sure children also wash their hands well with soap and warm water, keep your children drinking fluids often to avoid dehydration.” He advised parents to give their children ORS immediately when vomiting or diarrhoea starts.