Velocity Care shares ways to treat a common illness everyone dreads
The stomach virus, or viral gastroenteritis, is an affliction we all have at least a handful of times in our lives – both as children and as adults – and is generally non-life threatening. However, it is still important to monitor yourself and your children closely to make sure it doesn’t develop into something more serious.
Things to keep in mind
A flu shot won’t help. Some symptoms may appear similar to the seasonal respiratory flu, like an achy body, but the flu shot, which addresses only the seasonal strain, isn’t the answer for a stomach bug.
Some people confuse the stomach virus with food poisoning; however, food poisoning symptoms are typically a bit more explosive or projectile in nature.
The stomach flu is most commonly spread through the “fecal-oral” route, so make sure everyone in your household takes the time to do a thorough hand-washing after using the bathroom.
It is commonly found in daycares, nursing homes and even in restaurants.
What you can do
With children, knowing if you’re dealing with the stomach virus or something else is sometimes difficult to determine because they aren’t always forthcoming about how they feel. The following tips are great to keep in mind for children and adults suffering from stomach ailments.
If you detect a low-grade fever, don’t be too quick to turn to medications to bring it down. A fever can mean the immune system is working to fight off an infection.
After vomiting, it is best to wait around 30 minutes before drinking anything – otherwise, you run the risk of it coming right back up. Start with small sips of water or fortified drinks like Pedialyte or Gatorade. Avoid sugary drinks like fruit juices, as they can aggravate stomach issues.
Once liquids stay down, start trying foods like applesauce, Jell-O or clear soups. Physicians recommend the BRAT diet when contending with an upset stomach or diarrhea: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.
If your child is suffering from diarrhea, do not give him any over-the-counter medicine without checking with a doctor first. Some OTC medicines can cause detrimental side effects in children.
Make sure you keep extremely vigilant with washing hands – both yours and your children’s – and sanitizing your house, even after symptoms start improving. Many viruses can stay active on various surfaces and in the body for weeks after the symptoms have subsided. Don’t allow family members to share food, utensils, towels or other personal items. Frequently disinfect common surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, remotes, keyboards, faucets and toys.
Signs it’s time to see the doctor
Usually, individuals with the stomach bug are back to normal within a day or two. If, after a few days, there is no improvement or you see one of these signs, you should see a doctor to receive treatment:
Inability to keep down liquids
Blood in vomit
Any signs of dehydration
Fever higher than 100.4 degrees
Need medical help fast? Let the experts at Velocity Care provide your family premier medical care with little or no wait. To find the clinic nearest you, visit www.velocitycare.com/locations today.
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