Tulsa Doctors Offices See Spike In Stomach Flu Cases

Tuesday, February 15th 2011, 5:21 pm
By: News On 6

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The stomach flu is making its way around Green Country. It's peak season for the highly contagious bug.

The main symptoms to watch for are vomiting and diarrhea and there are plenty of people showing up in local doctors' offices with those symptoms.

Eighteen-month-old Mila was all smiles on her mother's lap Tuesday at the doctor's office. But just last week, the toddler was violently ill with the stomach flu.

"You can't do anything, just hold them," Lena Stemple, Mila's mom, said. "It all happens and she would cry. Feel like she was in pain and uncomfortable."

Barely able to keep liquids down, Mila lost two pounds. That's a lot when you barely tip the scales at 22 pounds. She was sick for five days. But then her dad, Daniel Stemple, fell ill and was hospitalized for three days.

"It came on really quick. I've had food poisoning and it started very similar with the same symptoms but I had a pain that I hadn't felt before," he said.

Mom Lena didn't miss out on the misery.

"It happened when we had this big snow," she said. "We weren't sure how we were going to get to the hospital. All the roads were so bad."

Pediatrician Dr. Scott Cyrus said the stomach flu's danger lies in dehydration. Sipping a diluted sports drink or Pedialite for kids should help.

"If you sip it, usually it will help settle the stomach and the stomach can handle that and you won't see the massive blow out diarrhea that you can get," Dr. Cyrus said.

Dr. Cyrus said to call a doctor if you or your children can't keep fluids down.

"I just pretty much tried to not eat anything so it would go away quicker," Lena Stemple said.

"Not eat, stay hydrated, and lie still," Daniel Stemple said.

Dr. Cyrus said although it's an uncomfortable illness, most people should feel better in a few days.

Dr. Cyrus said now that kids are back in school after the snow days, we could see another peak in the stomach flu.  He said to wash your hands, use disinfectant and urged you not to share food or drink.