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What's Going Around: The Stomach Flu

December 6, 2012, 5:08 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

What's Going Around: The Stomach Flu

If you or your child has been fighting the stomach flu, you're not alone.

You'll know you or a family has been bitten by the stomach flu blug if you're feeling queasy or running to the restroom more often than usual.

Dr. Kirsten Stotz says while she has seen a few cases of salmonella poisoning, most of the people coming in with stomach issues lately are dealing with the stomach flu. That's what doctors call viral gastroenteritis.

The symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. You also might deal with chills, a fever and muscle pain.

The virus usually runs it's course within a few days without medication, but you can take some steps to deal with the symptoms. First of all, make sure you stay hydrated.

"A lot of times when people have the stomach flu, things are coming up or going right through them.  But we still want you to keep hydrated, so that means frequent sips of water or Gatorade-type products or Powerade-type products," Avera Dr. Kirsten Stotz said.

It can help to switch to a diet with bland foods such as toast, chicken broth, and Saltine crackers.

If you're really having concerns about dehydration or have problems keeping even water down, Dr. Stotz says you should see a doctor immediately.

Stotz says viruses can last seven to ten days, but most of the people she's seeing are sick for two to three days.

Of course, the best thing is to try to prevent getting sick by washing or sanitizing your hands after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers and before eating.

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