Staying healthy during stomach flu season
December 12, 2012
The holidays provide time to spend with family, friends and coworkers, sharing laughter, food, presents and potentially the norovirus, more commonly known as the stomach flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 80 percent of norovirus outbreaks occur between November and April.
A release from the Mesa County Health Department, said the virus can be spread by contact with infected people, consuming contaminated food or water or touching contaminated objects, with outbreaks occurring often and to people of all ages.
Norovirus symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea stomach cramping, fever, headache, other body aches, and can potentially lead to dehydration the release stated.
Dehydration can lead to more serious problems, with severe cases resulting in hospitalization to receive fluids.
The virus can be especially serious for young children and older adults the release said, spreading quickly in places such as daycare centers, schools and healthcare facilities including nursing homes.
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Signs a child has become dehydrated include crying with few or no tears and the child being unusually sleepy or fussy, in which case the release advised calling a doctor.
According to the release, there is no specific medicine to treat people with the virus, but health officials recommend drinking plenty of liquids, including sports drinks and or drinks without caffeine or alcohol to help with mild dehydration. They also advise washing hands regularly and staying home when sick.