What's Going Around: Gastroenteritis

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) Of all the things that could be going around as kids get ready to go back to school, gastroenteritis is one of the worst. You may know it by it's more common name, the stomach flu.

Dr. Bob Orr at the 98-point-6 Emergicenter says gastroenteritis is caused by a virus that inflames the stomach and small intestine. It causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Patients usually have abdominal pain as well as head and body aches. The worst is over after a couple days but it could be a week before you feel normal again.

It's important to stay hydrated with water and sports drinks. You might need an IV if you can't keep anything down. A doctor can also prescribe you anti-nausea medication.

You should get medical attention if there's blood in your vomit or stool.

Despite the fact that people call it the stomach flu... Gastroenteritis has nothing to do with the influenza virus. It's caused by other bugs, especially norovirus.

The best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.