It’s easy to catch, it spreads quickly through your household and it can make for the longest 24 hours imaginable – Gastroenteritis, commonly called “Stomach Flu”, is What’s Going Around this week.
Centra Care doctors have seen an increase in pediatric patients with the Stomach Flu in the following areas:
● Orange Lake – up 700% (kids)
● Clermont – up 200% (kids)
● Mount Dora – up 200% (kids)
● Kissimmee – up 200% (kids)
● Brandon – up 300% (kids)
● Wesley Chapel – up 300% (kids)
Gastroenteritis is usually caused by an intestinal virus. You can become ill by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, or having hand-to-mouth contact with an infected person.
Abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and a low-grade fever are common symptoms of Gastroenteritis. All that can lead to dehydration, so be on the lookout for those symptoms as well as: decreased urination, extreme lethargy and light-headedness.
To prevent a new infection, WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN, and do not share beverages or eating utensils. If it’s a child who is ill, parents need to be diligent about hand washing, especially before meals.
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 like Pedialyte. 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 unable to keep any fluids down.
● Avoid dairy, caffeine, and spicy foods until feeling better.
● Make sure to get plenty of rest.
The Stomach Flu is viral in nature so it can’t be treated with antibiotics, but Centra Care physicians can prescribe medication that can stop the vomiting, slow the diarrhea and prevent dehydration.