We got that stomach virus again. This will be the third time this season we've gotten it. The first was when my mother was in town. Then our Christmas vacation was disrupted by the whole family, and I mean the whole family, constantly running to the bathroom. I've tried to avoid it. For months we did a pretty good job. Most of our friends had it twice. It went through our ward. My visiting teachers son actually threw up during Sacrament meeting. It went through school. We avoided it. I was feeling pretty good about myself and then it hit. And then it hit again. And then again. Twice it started with Cheetah making me think it probably originated at the gym. Just recently it hit our house again. It started with Captain E last weekend. He told me on Saturday he wasn't feeling very good, right before the babysitter was suppose to show up and then started puking. He puked all night and spent the next two days in bed recovering before the fourth day we he just jumped out of bed and went back to school good as rain. I spent the weekend in a battle to constantly disinfect everything. Christmas had been horrible and I didn't want a repeat.
|Facetiming with Peach|
|The once again hydrated Peach|
Diarrhoreal diseases are still the second leading cause of death in children under five throughout the developing world and are estimated to be responsible for a yearly 1.5 million deaths of children (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs330/en/index.html). Even with this nasty virus going around we in this country are for the most part buffered from the unclean water, food, and diseases that are responsible for the main causes of death. We are lucky to be able to avoid some of the main causes, we are also lucky to have medical personal available when things aren't getting better on their own which is why in our own country they result in very few deaths a year. Here are a few things to keep in mind if your kids should end up throwing up this year.
1) We often call it the stomach flu, but viruses that make people throw up really aren't the flu at all. The "flu" or influenza is that nasty bug that seems like a cold, only twenty times worse. It is the fever, body aches, tiredness, coughing/sore throat, runny nose, and very occasionally in kids it is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is the virus that they make a immunization for each year. The "stomach flu" is really no flu at all, but instead is gastroenteritis, inflammation of the GI tract that causes vomiting and diarrhea. it is most commonly caused by rota-virus (there is an oral immunization for this). The nasty strain going around this year is caused by a norovirus. "It can be transmitted three ways, fecally contaminated food or water (yum), person-to-person contact, or aerosolization and contamination on surfaces." It is super contagious, most common in the winter when people are stuck in doors together and "often occurs in closed or semiclosed communities" ie playgroup and my family :( (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norovirus)
2) If your kids are throwing up do not just give them water. They need to be constantly sipping or being spoon feed an oral rehydration solution. You can use Pedialyte or Gatorade. Even sprite or juice is better than just plain water. You can also make your own rehydration solution in a pinch by mixing 1/2 teaspon salt, 6 level teaspoons sugar and 1 liter of safe drinking water. Measurements need to be accurate because dehydration is made worse by electrolyte imbalance. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs330/en/index.html) Babies should continue to be breastfeed.
3) It is super easy for kids to get dehydrated. It happens super fast and dehydration will make dealing with the virus even harder. Kids under six should be taken to see a doctor if they have been vomiting longer than 24 hours. Adults if more than 2 days. I wish we would have taken Peach in the day before. You should go to the emergency room immediately if you have a severe headache, can't drink for more than 12 hours (8 for kids), excessive thirst, stop peeing (Peach didn't even have the liquid for tears anymore), get dizzy, or if you have blood in your vomit (it sort of looks like coffee grounds...poor Peach had this).(http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nausea/MY00572/DSECTION=when-to-see-a-doctor). In this case an IV will be needed to get you quickly hydrated and back on the road to health. Don't mess around with this. Severe dehydration is easy to treat, but can cause death if not taken care of!