Saturday, December 20, 2014

Stomach virus making its way around

(WKTV) - There's a good chance you have had, or know someone who has had a stomach virus recently. There are reports of it in many parts of the country over the past month or so, and now there seems to be an upswing in cases locally.

Dr. Stephen Eadline, a pediatrician with the Slocum Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford says he often sees cases of the stomach bug this time of year, and has seen many cases just in the past two weeks.

Dr. Eadline says this type of bug can be dangerous for young children and the elderly, "it's actually a virus that enters through the mouth, and can infect the stomach and the intestines. You might get vomiting, you might get diarrhea, you might get both, which is the worst. It's difficult in little children and in babies, because it's hard to manage the vomiting and the diarrhea sometimes with replacing the fluids that they need, and they can get dehydrated."

Dr. Eadline says the prescription for a stomach bug, is a lot of fluids, to put back those fluids that the body is losing, but he says replacing those can be tough, especially in young children, "you have to be persistent and if there's vomiting involved, you have to do a little bit at a time. Wait a half hour, 45 minutes, and try it again. If they start to vomit again, then we start over with it, and we try to teach parents about signs of dehydration, the lips get dry, the eyes get sunk, and if they have that, they've got to come in."

The stomach virus usually has an incubation period of about two days, then once you get it, you are contagious for about six to seven days. Dr. Eadline says the key once you do get it, is to avoid contact with people to limit its spread. He adds, "it's hard to do if you have an infant at home, or a preschooler, or grandparents around, it's very very hard. And people are sick of hearing about washing their hands, but I can't say it enough, to all the viewers out there, wash your hands this time of year."