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Flu Virus Spreading In Janesville | Health

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Flu Virus Spreading In Janesville
Health

Flu season has arrived, but one Rock County hospital is seeing a spike in stomach flu.

Between 10 and 20 patients have been coming into Janesville's Mercy Mall Urgent Care Center every day for the past months with symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, according to Catherine Onsrud, a nurse at the center.

That's about 10 times more cases then they typically see this time of year.

"Viral gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, is not the same as the seasonal influenza, so it is unusual this time of year. Usually we'll see the stomach flu in the summer months," Onsrud said.

The symptoms include vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Onsrud said the virus can spread quickly within families.

"Once it gets in your house, I mean you have to wash your hands a lot, but once you've developed symptoms, you've exposed everybody two days prior to the symptoms. It's too late," Onsrud said.

The stomach flu cannot be prevented by the seasonal flu vaccine, and Onsrud said that means things could get worse when children return to schools soon.

Onsrud said symptoms only last about three days for most people. However, the virus can be dangerous for young children, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions.

Onsrud said the usual treatment provided at the Mercy Urgent Care Center is nausea medication, IV solution for extra hydration and a prescribed diet.

She said anyone with symptoms should stay home from work and school to avoid further spreading the virus.

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