PITTSBURGH — It’s a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and stomach pain: Norovirus, which is sometimes known as the “stomach flu.” The CDC said in some parts of the country, it’s reaching peak levels.
“We know right now, in the country, it’s on the upswing,” said Dr. Todd Wolynn of Kids Plus Pediatrics
But when it comes to Norovirus here in the Pittsburgh area, doctors say they’re seeing a normal amount of cases in children for the season.
“This year is not really different than years prior,” said Dr. Joseph Aracri, Chair of Pediatrics for Allegheny Health Network.
“We’re not seeing anything that’s extraordinary. There’s definitely some cases of kids with GI upset,” Wolynn said.
The Allegheny County Health Department said it’s received calls regarding outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness, which can lead to vomiting and dehydration, but there are some signs parents can look for.
“Make sure they’re crying tears, the inside of their mouth is moist, they’re urinating at least every 6-8 hours,” Aracri said.
When it comes to getting better, Aracri said hydration is key – but in small, steady doses.
“The last thing you want to do is give them a big bottle of Gatorade to chug because that will all just come back up again. So you start off by giving them anywhere between a half ounce to an ounce every 20 minutes for the first hour and try to double it for the second hour,” Aracri said.
And if your child is still showing symptoms…
“Please keep them at home for a day or two so they’re not around other kids spreading it. That’s how it usually goes like wildfire,” Wolynn said.
Experts recommend these tips to protect yourself from Norovirus:
-Wash your hands
-Wipe down surfaces
-Rinse fruits and vegetables
-Don’t prepare food for others when sick
-Cook shellfish to 140 degrees or higher
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