Gastroenteritis

aka "the stomach bug"

WHAT IS IT: sickness caused by a virus which spreads from person to person or through food contamination.  Symptoms usually appear 1-2 days after exposure and mild, lasting 1-2 days.

SYMPTOMS

  • Upset Stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Dehydration

TREATMENT

  • Wait about 30-60 minutes after the last vomiting to try drinking fluids.
  • Sip small amounts of clear liquids frequently. Try ice chips, sips of water, flat ginger ale or 7-up, weak tea, diluted apple juice, Gatorade, clear soups, Jell-O, popsicles
  • Let your gastrointestinal tract settle by not eating for several hours. Then start with small amounts of bland, easy-to-digest food:  cooked cereals, bread or bagel (no butter or margarine), toast with jelly, crackers, plain pasta, pretzels or bread sticks, fruits  (banana, apple, applesauce ), cooked potatoes,  cooked vegetables, eggs, rice, chicken, turkey, baked fish.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat small amounts of bland food frequently for 2-3 days to prevent recurrence.
  • Avoid dairy products, greasy or spicy foods, raw vegetables, caffeine, and alcohol until recovery is complete.

WHEN TO SEEK CARE

  • Stools containing blood or black stools
  • Temperature over 101.5 F for more than 24 hours
  • Prolonged vomiting
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days

PREVENTION

  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t share drinks.
  • Do not prepare food for people if you are sick.
  • Throw out refrigerated leftovers once a week to avoid eating spoiled food.
  • Clean surfaces well before preparing food on them.
  • Keep your meats separate from your vegetables when storing them.
  • Cook meat to 160F and maintain at 140F or higher.
  • Thaw meat in the refrigerator or microwave.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
  • Don’t put cooked meat on the plate where raw meat was held