What’s going around: Gastroenteritis

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MADISON (WKOW) — The stomach flu is a nickname for gastroenteritis.

Elizabeth Lucht, a physician assistant at Group Health Cooperative’s Capitol Clinic, says she’s been seeing more cases of gastroenteritis in clinic lately.

Lucht lists common symptoms as follows:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain

As far as treatment goes, Lucht says antibiotics are not typically effective because gastroenteritis is usually caused by a virus.  She recommends the following treatment options:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat simple foods (ie. crackers, toast, rice)
  • Avoid medicines like Imodium or Pepto-Bismol
  • Don’t spread germs to others; wash your hands, and stay home from work or school.

For children, it’s time to go see a health provider if they have a fever above 102.2, have blood in their stool, have a large amount of diarrhea or vomiting or dehydration, or have symptoms lasting longer than a week.

Likewise with adults, Lucht says it’s time to get medical help if you’re really dehydrated, have symptoms lasting longer than a week, have extreme stomach pain, or have an underlying health issue.

Caroline Bach

Caroline Bach

Anchor, Wake Up Wisconsin Weekend

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