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Stomach virus increasing in New Orleans area

A growing number of children are going to their pediatricians with symptoms including fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.

NEW ORLEANS — Parents beware, a stomach bug is making some kids sick in the New Orleans area. One school has seen a dramatic increase in cases across all grade levels.   

A growing number of children are going to their pediatricians with symptoms including fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“I have spoken to the ERs in this city, they are seeing an increase in Gastroenteritis that can be caused by mostly viruses, but this is not just in the pediatric population,” Eyewitness News Medical Analyst Dr. Corey Hebert said. “This is actually, we’ve seen a little increase in all the populations.” 

The New Orleans pediatrician says he is seeing a lot of kids with stomach virus in recent weeks. 

“I have not seen any children have a bad outcome with this, but I have seen some hospitalized for dehydration.”  

The stomach bug is spreading rapidly at St. Pius X in Lake Vista. 

In a statement, the New Orleans Archdiocese Department of Catholic Education said, so far, the illness has not spread aggressively to any other school. 

“As always, we encourage parents to monitor their children for any symptoms related to illness and follow all guidelines provided in the school handbook as it relates to illness and recovery.” 

 Ochsner for Children Doctor Michael Wasserman says he’s seeing clusters of the stomach virus. 

"A lot of this is spread by touch where the virus is introduced from one child to the other by going into the mouth,” Dr. Wasserman said. “It can be in surfaces, depending on the virus. But it also can be by one child touching the next.” 

Dr. Wasserman recommends parents make sure their child remains hydrated if he or she comes down with the stomach bug. 

“In these children, giving the stomach rest by not giving them food for a little period of time, not eating solids is not going to get you into trouble. Giving them sips of either sports drinks, maybe diluted with water or one of these oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte.” 

Doctors also say children and adults should wash their hands often to prevent the spread of the virus. 

"All it takes is for one person not to wash their hands and it spreads like wildfire,” Dr. Hebert said. 

Doctors say in most cases, the bug should run its course in 5 to 7 days. 

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