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Children's Health

Is there a stomach virus going around?

03/10/2009

Question:

My 3 year granddaughter lives in the Denver area and has been experiencing stomach virus symtoms for approximately two weeks. She seems fine at times and is eating but when her stomach hurts she gets very listless. She started with vomiting and now has very loose stools that she has a hard time controlling. Is there anything we can give her to help her feel better?

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question. Certainly, this time of year it is very common for children to have episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. Rotavirus is a very common cause of this disorder. Most cases of this viral illness resolve on their own without any medicines. However, there are other entities that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. There are certain bacteria (shigella, salmonella, E. Coli, campylobacter) that can cause these symptoms as well. There are some recent studies that demonstrate that foods containing lactobacillus - like yogurt -- may shorten the course of diarrhea. You may want to give that a try or just put your granddaughter on her regular diet. If the symptoms persist, I would take your granddaughter to her regular physician for an evaluation. Hope this was helpful.

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Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati