Fighting the stomach bug

January 16, 2009 4:07:36 PM PST
New Jersey Health officials said the stomach flu is on the rise in South Jersey. 'Our Lady of Lourdes health system' said its hospitals have seen a jump in the number of cases over the past few days.Other local hospitals also report seeing more cases. Both adults and kids are getting sick. The viruses come on quickly with vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and sometimes a low-grade fever.

The virus is spread through close contact or contaminated food. You can catch it anytime of the year but it's more common in the winter.

"You've got everybody inside, sharing the same area, and you cough and touch something, and the next person touches the same thing," said Dr. Jason Theiling of Jefferson University Hospital.

The stomach bug usually runs its course in 1 to 2 days. But there is the danger of dehydration so you should try to at least drink clear fluids and slowly move up to eating bland foods such as crackers or toast.

To prevent getting sick or spreading the virus wash your hands often with soap and water.