Stomach Bug Crawls Through the Midlands

Although the number of flu cases is dropping, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, a stomach bug seems to be going around.

Local doctors say they've seen a higher number of patients with symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, headaches and fevers lately -- which all point to a typical virus.

"When these things start in the community, sometimes they take off," said Dr. Mark Tyler with MEDcare Urgent Care. "Just like on a cruise ship, everybody's in close contact and it's still kind of colder weather so just like with the flu, people are more in contact with each other and that can spread it."

The virus normally comes on without warning, but the good news is that doctors say it leaves your body just as quickly.

"They're self-limited. Whether it's three days or five days, it will run its course and the person will be okay," said Dr. James Elmore with Midlands Internal Medicine. "Treatment for a virus related illness is you typically treat the symptoms."

Taking over-the-counter medicines can help you feel better if you do get sick, but if you start to show signs of dehydration that's when you need to see a doctor.

Since it's passed on from person-to-person, doctors say to avoid getting sick at all, simply practice good hygiene.

"Lots of hand washing, especially if there's somebody around the house or at work," said Dr. Tyler. "You can't do too much and that virus can stay on the doorknobs and the faucets for several days."

Experts also warn that it's allergy season, so if your symptoms are worse in the morning and at night and stay steady -- it's probably not a virus.


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