Stomach Virus Hits Harder This Year - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Stomach Virus Hits Harder This Year

"So she is doing better overall?" Dr. Ken Haygood, a family physician in Tyler, asked Lisa Polozola, a nurse and mother of a young patient.

"Doing better," she said.

Kayla Polozola, 2, is just getting over a stomach virus.

"She just came home and she told me that her tummy hurt," Lisa said, "and about five minutes after that, she was just sick and had the nausea and the vomiting and everything."

The next day, Lisa caught the bug and experienced similar symptoms -- ones she and Dr. Haygood have seen in patients every day for the past few weeks, including the clinic's own staff members. Other symptoms of the common stomach virus include fever and diarrhea.

Haygood says this year's viral outbreak is stronger than usual and widespread. "We've been seeing people from Lindale down to Bullard down to, of course, our office is in the center of Tyler. So we get people from all over."

"If you're healthy and only sick for a couple of days, you don't have much to worry about," Dr. Haygood says. But if the illness lingers for four or five days, it's a good idea to call your physician.

"The people who are really at higher risk are older people, people with worse chronic medical problems, and younger kids and infants," Haygood said.

"If their fever lasts after 24 hours, and if they're not drinking or eating, you know, then that's when you should be concerned and bring them in to see somebody," Polozola said.

There's not much you can do to avoid getting sick this season, but follow the old rules: Wash your hands with soap frequently and stay away from people who are sick.

Dr. Haygood says most stomach viruses will go away on their own. Nausea can be treated with medicines, but recent studies have shown medicine may not be as effective in getting rid of diarrhea.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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