What’s Going Around is never welcome and when Gastroenteritis strikes your household, it can seem never-ending. But the good news is the unpleasant infection usually only lasts 1 – 2 days.
Typically in the spring, Gastroenteritis numbers start to decline – but not this year. The CDC is reporting a specific strain of the norovirus that seems to be lingering. Last week in Central Florida, several Centra Care locations saw a jump in cases of Gastroenteritis, with the following areas of town showing the highest percentage of increase:
Hunter’s Creek – up 600%
Mt. Dora – up 400%
Oviedo – up 300%(kids)
Gastroenteritis, commonly called “Stomach Flu”, is usually caused by an intestinal virus. Eating or drinking contaminated food or water or hand-to-hand or hand-to-mouth contact with an infected person is usually how the dreaded illness spreads.
Abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and a low-grade fever are common symptoms of gastroenteritis. The illness often leads to dehydration, so be on the lookout for dehydration symptoms, including: decreased urination, extreme lethargy and light-headedness.
To prevent a new infection
- Wash your hands frequently
- Do not share beverages or eating utensils.
Here are a few recommendations if you or your child catches Gastroenteritis:
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of clear liquids like water, sport drinks (for adults), and pediatric electrolyte solutions. Don’t drink too much at one time. It is best to take small frequent sips or suck on ice cubes.
- See a doctor if you’re unable to keep any fluids down.
- Avoid dairy, caffeine and spicy foods until feeling better.
- Get plenty of rest
While stomach flu can’t be treated with antibiotics, Centra Care physicians can prescribe medication that can stop the vomiting, slow the diarrhea and prevent dehydration, if necessary.