Ask Avera: How to treat the stomach bug

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(KSFY) - The dreaded stomach bug – parents are all too familiar with this in their little ones. And lately, it seems to be making the rounds.

So, is the stomach bug the same as the flu? Pediatrician Dr. Kara Bruning explains the difference in this week’s Ask Avera.

“Influenza, or the flu, is actually high fevers and body aches and you feel miserable for around a week. Stomach flu is not actually flu. It's a virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. So in medical terms, we call it acute gastroenteritis. No parents need to remember that. But it's the vomiting and the diarrhea,” said Dr. Bruning.

Dr. Bruning says it’s important to keep your children hydrated when they have a stomach bug.

“So if they stop vomiting, wait half an hour and then do small sips of fluids. That's how you're going to keep your kid hydrated, rather than giving them that huge eight ounce glass of water that's coming back at you,” said Dr. Bruning.

Dr. Bruning says the vomiting and diarrhea usually lasts for 24 to 48 hours.

“If you think your kid’s dehydrated, if they quit peeing, there's no more wet diapers, they're refusing to drink, you can't get anything in them, those are reasons to give us a call,” said Dr. Bruning.
Dr. Bruning says good hand-washing and hygiene are ways to prevent the spread of the stomach bug and other germs.

If you have a question for one of our Ask Avera experts, e-mail Tess at tess.hedrick@ksfy.com