THERE has been a spike in the number of cases of crippling intestinal infection rotavirus on Dublin's southside.
Herald columnist Susan Daly was struck down by the infection and her local GP said that they had noticed a notable number of patients who were diagnosed with rotavirus.
"My doctor told me there were at least 10 people in the last week," Susan said. "The problem is that people are contagious and it could rip through offices and homes.
"My doctor said that a few weeks ago it was all campylobacter cases, one of the main causes of bacterial foodborne disease," she added.
"I didn't know about it and I think that people should be aware that it's happening.
"I was asked where I was living and when I told her, she said that there have been a number of cases in this area," Susan explained. "I've been told that its also out towards Ballsbridge. I was fine last week, but I had a relapse yesterday and today."
Rotavirus infection is an infection of the digestive tract and can spread rapidly from person to person. Children are at particular risk.
The virus works by attacking the lining of the small intestine, causing often copious loss of fluids.
While some medications may be prescribed to help treat symptoms such as nausea, there is currently no drug that is prescribed to treat the virus itself.
Children can spread rotavirus both before and after they develop symptoms and can cause patients to become severely dehydrated.
Recent research has found the cost of treating the young children affected by rotavirus gastroenteritis in Ireland was €140,878, which accounted for approximately 2pc of hospital spending on paediatric admissions. The average cost per child was €1,154.
"Rotavirus in children is a significant illness which nearly always results in an expensive hospital stay," said Dr Kavanagh, who carried out the research in Galway University Hospital.
Dr Kavanagh found that children spent two and a half days in hospital and most required rehydration with intravenous fluids as a result of severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
A representative for Dublin City Council moved to reassure locals that the virus was not carried by drinking water.
"Rotavirus is passed by human to human contact," the representative said.