Stomach Bug

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- Mark, thank you.

New tonight, 'tis the season for the stomach bug.

The common infection

affects more than 3 million people every year.

If you haven't had it this season like me, (laughing)

are there ways to prevent from getting it?

Well we talked to a doctor to find out.

It spreads easily, but it is short-term,

only lasting a few days.

It's the stomach flu, or stomach bug

as many people refer to it.

- There are a number of people in the community

that have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,

and that's not unexpected at this time of year.

- [Courtney] While most people

tend to just deal with it at home--

- Many patients don't seek medical attention.

They just stay home and drink plenty of fluids

and try to keep themselves hydrated.

- [Courtney] There have been some cases

where people have to go to the emergency room.

- [Doctor] We've had a couple of patients hospitalized.

- [Courtney] Chief of Infectious Diseases,

Dr. Virginia Bieluch

with The Hospital of Central Connecticut,

says those who are at high risk are babies and the elderly

or those with a low immune system.

- If you do have symptoms of a stomach infection,

it's really important that you stay home

and try to avoid contact with other people.

- [Courtney] She suggests washing your hands often,

especially after you use the bathroom.

But since it's highly contagious,

there's really no true way

to prevent yourself from getting it.

- Unfortunately, many of these infectious agents

such as norovirus are very easily spread.

They can be spread by contact with a person who's infected,

or contact, or ingestion with contaminated food.

- Now, the stomach bug is different from the flu.

Flu, you'll have coughing, fever,

muscle aches and a sore throat.

Now, if you can't hold down any liquids,

doctors suggest calling your doctor

or going right to the ER.