Doctors say growing number of residents catching stomach flu

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  -  As Six-year-old Evelyn Best reads to her mom Jennifer, there's one story of sickness this family would love to forget.

"This took us all by surprise," said Jennifer Best. "Usually you have a few days and you know something's coming but we had no warning."

Jennifer said last week, within just 24-hours all five members of her family came down with a nasty illness.

"We were all taken down pretty quickly," Jennifer said.

Evelyn chimed in. "And Lydia threw up in the car."

"She did," Jennifer said. "It was kind of a nightmare. But the laundry altogether was a nightmare."

The Bests were driving home from a quick shopping trip when it first hit mom. And within hours, Lydia, 1, Evelyn, 6, and Charlie, 4, were all ill. Dad then caught the bug hours later.

The Bests rested, drank fluids and after about two days Jennifer said everyone was better. Jennifer wondered if they'd caught the flu.

Dr. Roy Jacobson is the Medical Director of the Wyoming Family Practice and a full time Family Physician. He said several other patients have called his practice in the last two weeks asking the same thing.

"It's not the flu at all," Jacobson said. "It's a different sort of virus. One that affects the digestive system and not the respiratory system. Most patients that get it will first have an upset stomach. Then vomiting. Then the diarrhea follows after that."

Jacobson said seniors and children are especially at risk.

"Children because they're smaller can get dehydrated more quickly," Jacobson said. "And mothers and fathers should look for signs of dehydration. Dry mouth. Dry eyes. No tears when the babies cry and dry diapers in the morning."

There's one positive element. Dr. Jacobson said this bug is quick and most get better within 12-36 hours. Comforting news, after the storm that hit the Best's happy home.

"I've never seen it happen like that before," Jennifer said. "I've seen two kids be sick at once. I've seen myself or my husband, but never all at once."

Unfortunately, Dr. Jacobson said we'll probably see more of this Stomach Flu this season. If you think you might have this bug, Jacobson says call your physician first, don't just go into your doctor's office. Jacobson said this virus is highly contagious. He said Antibiotics won't help. The only things that will are: rest, fluids, and time.

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