Stomach virus making rounds in Indiana
Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - A stomach bug is making the rounds, keeping local doctors busy and sick patients in bed for days.
Chances are you or someone you know has been feeling under the weather. Doctors are offering suggestions on what to look for and how to keep it from spreading.
"It's hard to see 'em sick. Especially hard to see her sick," said Danielle Rawlfuss, mother of one-year-old Jasmine.
Jasmine had surgery on her eye, but that's not what brought her into the doctor's office Monday. The toddler and her two-year-old brother were struck by a nasty stomach bug that Rawlfuss says has hit her family hard.
"All of us are...diarrhea and vomiting," she said. "Not fun for anybody."
It's a stomach virus Dr. Jeremy Roscoe says he's been hearing about a lot lately.
"A little different than our 24-hour bug. We've been seeing kids with three or four days of throw up and diarrhea," Dr. Roscoe said.
It's not just children. Immediate care centers are reporting a surge in patients with similar symptoms. Family practitioners are also seeing their exam rooms busier than normal and phones are ringing off the hook.
"It's been very busy. People weak, tired, fatigued, dehydrated. Just no energy," said Dr. Sanjay Vyas.
Last year's H1N1 flu pandemic created a new concern about the dangers of influenza and a new interest in personal hygiene. People lined up for flu vaccines faster than health officials could provide them.
This year, that vaccine includes protection against H1N1, but it's not a cure-all. While health officials say it's a good idea to get a flu shot and even recommend it, that shot won't protect you from this latest bug.
"The flu shot covers respiratory. Stomach flu is not covered by that," Dr. Roscoe said.
"We're asking people to push a lot of fluids," Dr. Vyas said.
While she got a book for her visit, Jasmine may not get much relief from her trip to the doctor. He says all she and her family can do to beat the bug is let it run its course.
The state health department and local health departments say they've not had any reports of flu problems - except one in Delaware County. St. Lawrence School in Muncie had to close Friday, because more than half the student population came down with a stomach virus. The school's principal says they were in session Monday with only seven students sick.
As for local school districts, only Hamilton Southeastern reported a jump in illness the end of last week and today. Doctors say the best prevention, as with any flu bug, is diligent hand washing.