Waking up one morning with terrible stomach cramps and a small fever could mean that you're dealing with a stomach virus. The reason you're under the weather can be traced back to who you are around and what you haven't done.
The holiday season is a time where family members spend quality time together. That could also speed up the spread of germs that will get you sick.
"People get together and people from out of town, families getting together, and unfortunately, one of the negative things of getting together can be bringing new viruses and germs into the home," Sanford Family Medicine Dr. David Ellerbusch said.
One of the big illnesses going around right now is a stomach virus, bringing with it a minor fever, severe nausea and plenty of aches and pains. Once you've identified those symptoms, you can stay ahead of the virus.
"I think the important thing is to stay hydrated the best they can. If they're nauseated or vomiting, to take just small amounts of clear liquids," Ellerbusch said.
With the stomach virus, keeping hydrated is one of the best ways to speed up the healing process.
"The younger infants are certainly more prone to get dehydrated more quickly. I think on the other end, too, the elderly probably more likely, as well," Ellerbusch said.
The stomach pains may have you considering a trip to the hospital, but it may be best just to try and be patient.
"Most of the time, it can be handled at home with symptomatic treatment, but if it persists longer than a week," Ellerbusch said.
Once you are feeling better and are ready to put the virus behind you, there are ways to keep the illness from coming back.
"The usual ones people have heard about, and that's just to wash their hands frequently. Good hand washing is very important to prevent the spread of germs," Dr. Ellerbusch said.
That, along with plenty of rest, will help keep your sick days intact.