Maryland has been hit with a rough winter and now it is being hit with widespread gastroenteritis, sometimes called “stomach flu.” It spreads easily in families, schools, daycare centers, nursing homes and other enclosed areas.
Despite being referred to as stomach flu, gastroenteritis is not really the flu, which is a respiratory infection. Gastroenteritis inflames the stomach and intestines which causes stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people may also have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue.
To avoid infection:
· Wash your hands frequently to stop the viruses from spreading. Help children wash their hands thoroughly.
· Wash fruits and vegetables carefully and cook shellfish before eating.
· Disinfect areas in the home and at work when someone does become sick.
If you do come down with “stomach flu,” you should drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration. You should usually feel better after two or three days. See a doctor if your symptoms are severe.