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Stomach bug hits East Tennessee

Published: Mar. 1, 2016 at 4:45 PM EST
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A bug has invaded Knoxville, commonly known as that nasty stomach bug.

Dr. Michael Rothwell at Well Key Urgent Care said that this is the time of the year for the stomach bug. Gastroenteritis inflammation of the stomach, can be due to viruses, bacteria, food toxins. Whatever the cause, it’s put a lot of East Tennessean’s out of commission. Symptoms of the bug can include vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

“When something like this comes around we typically see it in numbers,” said Rothwell “As people are infected with it more people are at risk for becoming infected, because of close contact or food contamination.”

Rothwell said that one of the most important things that you can do to get over the bug once, is to keep hydrated and if you are having trouble with that then go see your doctor. The most vital thing that you can do to keep from getting it is to wash your hands with hot water and soap as much as possible.

Those most at risk for bad side affects are the people that are least able to defend themselves. This includes the chronically ill, the elderly, and very young children, according to Rothwell.

“When you have it you are fine and then suddenly you can't keep anything down and you feel miserable,” said Rothwell.

Rothwell said that you are probably good to go to work the next day if you feel 100 percent better, as long as you keep washing your hands and do not share utensils.

“We are probably seeing around eight to ten people a day come in starting three or four days ago,” said Rothwell.

According to Connie Croney, Epidemiology and reporting nurse for the Knox County Health Department, says hand sanitizer can be helpful and kill certain germs but may not be 100 percent effective against.

The Norovirus is one of the more common viruses.

One minute you’re feeling fine and within about a half an hour you can keep anything down. The virus has become more common in the past few years.

“It only takes ten particles of virus to infect you and make you sick,” said Croney. “Little particles of the virus can become airborne and land on surfaces that you touch.”

Kim Day has an 18-month-old that got the bug on Tuesday night, which gave him a fever that spiked up to 104 and made him wake up in the middle of the night throwing up. Her and her husband woke up with the same symptoms that following weekend.

“It was really scary when my son got that sick,” said Day. “He had never been that sick before, but thankfully it was a 24 hour deal for all three of us.”

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