Doctors seeing a rise in stomach flu cases

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Another type of flu is making its way into emergency rooms and clinics. Hospitals in our area are seeing a rise in people with the GI flu otherwise known as the stomach flu. It's different from influenza as it affects your stomach.

Doctor Bob Zemple with BayCare Clinic said the colder days are to blame for more cases since more people are still inside spreading this contagious virus.

“Because it involves the GI system, you'll see things like nausea, vomiting, have some cramping, sometimes you won't be able to keep things down very well, you'll see things pass through quicker than they should,” said Dr. Zemple who is an Emergency Medicine Physician with BayCare Clinic.

Dr. Zemple said you can get it from anyone. If you're taking care of a child with the stomach flu, doctors say you're more at risk, so keeping surfaces at home clean is key.

Physician Assistant for Bellin Health, Eric Adams, said they too have seen several cases over the last two weeks. He stresses the importance of washing your hands.

“Hand hygiene is going to be number one, obviously if you're preparing your own food, or preparing food for someone else, make sure you're washing your hands before and even several times during, if you go out to eat, again it's hard to say is it stomach flu or food poisoning, but still hand hygiene,” said Adams.

Doctor Zemple said with the stomach flu, watch what you eat, avoid salty or spicy foods, and more importantly, see a doctor if you think it's something more severe.

“The problem though is again is significant fluid loss, and what you don't want to do is miss this for another ongoing process that could be fatal, like appendicitis, or the small bowel obstruction, or an infection that's caused by a bad bacteria, and those are the kinds of things that require more intervention that prevent people from getting worse or dying,” said Dr. Zemple.