Stomach Flu in Fall Weather

The temperatures are dropping and the holidays are quickly approaching. This is the time of the year when we are around a lot of people and doing a lot of traveling. With that in mind, some doctors say there are strains of the norovirus, or the stomach flu, that are more common in fall-like weather.

“It’s highly contagious and difficult to get rid of. They are the things that have caused outbreaks on things like cruise ships,” Skip Nolan, Director of UMC’s Division Of Infectious Diseases said.

Right now you are likely to hear more about the flu and the need to get vaccinated. It’s not necessarily stomach flu season, but it’s something you can catch all year.

“Usually stomach flu season is more in the summertime, but you can see outbreaks at almost any time,” Nolan said. “They are generally nuisance illnesses. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, but they go away in oh usually 72 hours or so.”

The Center for Disease Control tells us there are no known outbreaks in our region, but if you happen to be one of the few people to catch it, you’ll want to make sure you drink plenty of water.

“The biggest problem with things like this is dehydration,” Nolan said. “People have so much vomiting and diarrhea that they dehydrate. If you can’t control the nausea after you see your doctor, then there are medications to control the vomiting and diarrhea. If you can’t control it with The medications, then you can get an IV. Those are kind of extreme cases.”

Doctors say the illness can also impact anyone with chronic medical conditions a lot harder. The same goes for anyone considered frail and or elderly.

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