Stomach virus sweeping across the country - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Stomach virus sweeping across the country

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By: Kayla Bremer

 A stomach virus that can cause up to days worth of vomiting and diarrhea is taking the area by storm.

This virus has made its way across the states and has even shutdown school districts in certain parts of the country.  Within the last month, its made it's way into Nebraska.

"I probably threw up 15 times in three hours," Kristina Pollard said.  "I couldn't keep water down, every time I took a sip of water it came right back up so it was probably the worst sick experience of my life I think."

It's called Gastroenteritis.  Many people call it the stomach flu but doctors say this illness actually has nothing to do with the flu that people get vaccinated for.

This contagious virus affects people of all ages and can spread from surfaces, contaminated food or through the air.

Pollard caught it and ended up spending some of her holidays in the emergency room from dehydration.

"I mean it was the worst.  I felt like I wanted to die.  They said it was catching like wildfire and I even, I probably got every single person I encountered sick."

Pediatrician Michelle Walsh says the illness usually lasts 24 to 72 hours.  Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a low grade fever and dehydration.  Dehydration is common, especially in children so Dr. Walsh advises drinking 7–Up, Sprite or Gatorade to replace the fluids your body has lost.

She says unfortunately there is no vaccine for this type of stomach virus like there is for influenza.

"The best thing you can do is keep washing your hands and obviously if you know someone is sick, try to avoid that person," Dr. Walsh said.

Some patients may get a prescription to help with the vomiting but unfortunately this is a virus that many people will just have to wait out.

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