With cold wintertime conditions, comes a ripe environment for stomach viruses, just in time for the holidays. State Epidemiologist Craig Humbaugh says it’s a hand to mouth ailment which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
“It only takes a few viral particles, it’s a very small number to infect somebody, so they can contaminate their hands and maybe put their hands in their mouth and that’s how they often become infected,” said Humbaugh.
The month of December often means big gatherings of family members at one place. It’s unfortunately, an ideal spot for the spread of stomach ailments.
“Again, anytime people are in close proximity to others, you know, that’s going to make this more likely to occur,” added Humbaugh.
The sickness doesn’t typically last more than a day or so. But, Humbaugh says it can present complications for certain people.
“Normally in most healthy people, it doesn’t, but folks who are immunal compromised or young, or the elderly can certainly have more serious consequences,” noted Humbaugh.
Humbaugh says those more serious problems are often tied to dehydration. The best preventive medicine is frequent washing of hands, particularly before eating all those holiday goodies.