BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Thanksgiving is in a week, but you may encounter an unwanted guest before you sit down for that turkey dinner: the stomach bug.
Doctors in central Alabama say an increased amount of patients are coming down with a stomach virus. The symptoms are severe cramps, throwing up and diarrhea, but they only last for 24 to 48 hours.
“It’s what we call sick season,” said Dr. Colleen Donohue, Chief Medical Officer for Ascension Medical Group.
Donohue said it’s typical to see stomach virus cases rise this time of year. Current cases could be norovirus or a similar stomach virus. However, she added, antibiotics don’t work because it’s a virus, not an infection.
“The younger ages, maybe kindergarten and elementary school kids, will get these stomach bugs, and then, they will pass them to adults … We saw it at my house a week ago,” Donohue said.
Simultaneously, Donohue pointed out they’re seeing cases of the flu and COVID-19 ticking back up in their emergency rooms.
If your symptoms get severe, she said go to your doctor. If they worsen to the point you can’t keep liquids down and you can’t urinate, go to the emergency room. For small children, she suggested Pedialyte to rehydrate.
She also offered some suggestions to avoid getting sick at all this season.
“Make sure you wash your hands. Try if you’re gonna be in a big group of people, just be aware if someone doesn’t look like they feel great, maybe keeping your distance, some of those things we learned during COVID,” Donohue said.