The City of Lubbock Health Department is seeing an increase in gastric illness in Lubbock County.

Symptoms of enteric diseases may include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

Enteric diseases are most commonly spread person-to-person through the unwashed hands of an infected person, and can happen through direct contact or by contaminated food or drink.

Symptoms usually develop within 1 to 3 days, with a range of up to 7 days after exposure.

The Health Department says that the key to avoiding enteric diseases is good hand washing before and after eating or handling food, after using the restroom, after infant diaper changes, and frequently throughout the day.

They urge anyone with these symptoms to contact a physician immediately, as treatment with antibiotics will shorten the illness, and the amount of time a person can infect others.