What's Going Around: Gastroenteritis

January 16, 2012

It's a condition that's causing lots of stomach issues for patients young and old. Dr. Phyllis Montellese of Spring Creek Family Medicine says gastroenteritis is what's going around this week.

Dr. Montellese says symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever or chills and diarrhea. She says gastroenteritis typically lasts 12-36 hours and can impact patients of any age.

When it comes to treatment, Dr. Montellese says you shouldn't eat of drink anything until the vomiting has stopped, which could be a few hours. She recommends starting with sips and then progressing the diet slowly. If liquids are staying down you can start with crackers, toast, jello, applesauce, rice and bananas.

If the vomiting persists or if the patient is at an age extreme, either young or old, the risk of dehydration is higher and IV fluids and/or medication may be necessary.

Dr. Montellese says the best way to prevent gastroenteritis is by washing your hands, especially before handling food.

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