– News 8 is on call for you right here in the middle of the flu season. – Medical reporter Jocelyn
Maminta has expert answers to a viewer question about the
so-called “stomach bug”. – On News 8 On Call, here’s what Nancy in New Haven is asking. – [Jocelyn] “There are a
lot of kids out sick at my my children’s school due to a stomach bug. Is that the same thing as having the flu?” I posed that question to Dr.
Virginia Bieluch, chief of Infectious Diseases at the
Hospital of Central Connecticut. – Stomach bug and stomach
flu are terms that people use to describe what’s really gastroenteritis. – [Jocelyn] Gastroenteritis,
she says, is a highly contagious virus.
Symptoms consist of nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, stomach cramps, low-grade fever, commonly
caused by the norovirus. But influenza, which is not related, can bring on similar stomach issues. – Influenza, particularly
in children, can have some vomiting and diarrhea. However, the respiratory symptoms
predominate in classic influenza. – [Reporter] Meaning
coughing, a runny nose, sore throat and high fever
caused by the influenza virus. The flu also easily spreads. That’s why Dr. Bieluch
prescribes doing this around this time of the year. – Hand washing, hand
sanitization very important in reducing the spread of infection. – [Jocelyn] Currently
doctors are busy with both. – We are seeing patients in the hospital in the emergency room that have both the stomach bug as well as influenza. – Dr. Beiluch says there
is no specific medicine to treat people for
gastroenteritis or stomach bug, but you do need to stay
hydrated while you recover.