Tag Archives: Rotavirus

Straight, No Chaser: About That Vomiting and Diarrhea…

gastroenteritis.jpg.mid
You’ve all been there and done that. It’s always a bad day when you get the so-called stomach flu… First of all ‘the flu’ is a respiratory disease (affects the lungs, not the stomach and intestines), and the influenza viruses don’t cause that syndrome of vomiting and watery diarrhea. So, what you’re actually getting is gastroenteritis (gastro = stomach, entero = intestines, and itis = inflammation), an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Gastroenteritis means inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines. Most cases of gastroenteritis are infections caused by a variety of viruses that results in vomiting or diarrhea (other symptoms may include belly cramping, fever and headache from all that retching). There are other (bacterial) causes of vomiting and diarrhea, but the overwhelming number of cases is due to viruses. Your physician will know when the other considerations come into play. Here’s a few points you really want to know.
1. Is it serious?

  • In most cases of viral gastroenteritis, the symptoms and condition are rate limited and will come and go without much further ado. Your symptoms will last up to 10 days in most cases.
  • The concern isn’t nearly as much with the vomiting and diarrhea as it is with the dehydration that can result from all those fluid losses. Dehydration can cause all manner of electrolyte abnormalities, leading to serious acute illness and even death. In fact, diarrhea and dehydration have long been the number one cause of death worldwide outside of the United States.

2. Is it contagious?

  • Absolutely. This is one of the main reasons you’re always being told to wash your hands, especially after using the bathroom. Fecal-oral (yes, anus to mouth) transmission of viruses makes gastroenteritis and many other illnesses contagious. Hand shaking and other forms of contact (including eating food poorly handled or undercooked) extend the risk of transmission.

diarrheaemergency

3. How can I avoid gastroenteritis?
There are good options available to you.

  • Avoid food and water that you believe to be contaminated, perhaps because others have had problems with it.
  • Frequent hand washing is very important.
  • Similarly, take steps to wash and disinfect possibly contaminated clothing and surfaces, preventing this before it gets started.
  • A vaccine is available for two of the more common causes of gastroenteritis. Discuss whether it’s appropriate for your child with his/her pediatrician (it needs to be given during your child’s first year of life).

4. How will it be treated?

  • Fluids, fluids and more fluids will be given, and unless you can’t keep anything down at all, the fluids should be given by mouth. It’s interesting to note that the U.S. overuse intravenous (IV) fluids much more in these instances than the rest of the world. Learn about oral rehydration therapy (ORT). It’s how the rest of the world (very successfully) treats most cases of vomiting and diarrhea, and it’s roughly approximated by all those popular rehydration brands. The key is to take in enough fluids to stay ahead of the fluid losses. ORT is available over the counter, and remember that you don’t have to guzzle it. As little as a teaspoon at a time still can keep you hydrated.

It’s important to discuss some other treatment considerations.

  • Antibiotics don’t work against these viruses, so in this example, they won’t be helpful.
  • In select instances, your physician may provide symptomatic treatment for vomiting and diarrhea, but in the absence of this, they should be avoided. There are significant consequences to taking these medications, and a physician should be involved in taking that risk.

In summary, you don’t always have to run to the ER when you get the runs. Stay hydrated, my friends.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
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Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress
 

Straight, No Chaser: About That Vomiting and Diarrhea…

gastroenteritis.jpg.mid
You’ve all been there and done that. It’s always a bad day when you get the so-called stomach flu… First of all ‘the flu’ is a respiratory disease (affects the lungs, not the stomach and intestines), and the influenza viruses don’t cause that syndrome of vomiting and watery diarrhea. So, what you’re actually getting is gastroenteritis (gastro = stomach, entero = intestines, and itis = inflammation), an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Gastroenteritis means inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines. Most cases of gastroenteritis are infections caused by a variety of viruses that results in vomiting or diarrhea (other symptoms may include belly cramping, fever and headache from all that retching). There are other (bacterial) causes of vomiting and diarrhea, but the overwhelming number of cases is due to viruses. Your physician will know when the other considerations come into play. Here’s a few points you really want to know.
1. Is it serious?

  • In most cases of viral gastroenteritis, the symptoms and condition are rate limited and will come and go without much further ado. Your symptoms will last up to 10 days in most cases.
  • The concern isn’t nearly as much with the vomiting and diarrhea as it is with the dehydration that can result from all those fluid losses. Dehydration can cause all manner of electrolyte abnormalities, leading to serious acute illness and even death. In fact, diarrhea and dehydration have long been the number one cause of death worldwide outside of the United States.

2. Is it contagious?

  • Absolutely. This is one of the main reasons you’re always being told to wash your hands, especially after using the bathroom. Fecal-oral (yes, anus to mouth) transmission of viruses makes gastroenteritis and many other illnesses contagious. Hand shaking and other forms of contact (including eating food poorly handled or undercooked) extend the risk of transmission.

diarrheaemergency

3. How can I avoid gastroenteritis?
There are good options available to you.

  • Avoid food and water that you believe to be contaminated, perhaps because others have had problems with it.
  • Frequent hand washing is very important.
  • Similarly, take steps to wash and disinfect possibly contaminated clothing and surfaces, preventing this before it gets started.
  • A vaccine is available for two of the more common causes of gastroenteritis. Discuss whether it’s appropriate for your child with his/her pediatrician (it needs to be given during your child’s first year of life).

4. How will it be treated?

  • Fluids, fluids and more fluids will be given, and unless you can’t keep anything down at all, the fluids should be given by mouth. It’s interesting to note that the U.S. overuses intravenous (IV) fluids much more in these instances than the rest of the world. Learn about oral rehydration therapy (ORT). It’s how the rest of the world (very successfully) treats most cases of vomiting and diarrhea, and it’s roughly approximated by all those popular rehydration brands. The key is to take in enough fluids to stay ahead of the fluid losses. ORT is available over the counter, and remember that you don’t have to guzzle it. As little as a teaspoon at a time still can keep you hydrated.

It’s important to discuss some other treatment considerations.

  • Antibiotics don’t work against these viruses, so in this example, they won’t be helpful.
  • In select instances, your physician may provide symptomatic treatment for vomiting and diarrhea, but in the absence of this, they should be avoided. There are significant consequences to taking these medications, and a physician should be involved in taking that risk.

In summary, you don’t always have to run to the ER when you get the runs. Stay hydrated, my friends.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser In the News: New, Old Findings on Vaccines

If this doesn’t convince you, nothing will. You’ll want to read until the end.

The most recent edition of the medical journal Pediatrics this week publishes the results of three new studies that individually are convincing and together are definitive. This really isn’t news; the public health and medical communities have been speaking with one voice on this for nearly a century. However, given all the recent misinformation disseminated, it’s important to continue to drive home the point that vaccines save lives.
Let’s summarize the three studies.

rotavirus vax

Rotavirus was once an extremely common cause of infant diarrhea, causing hospitalization and even death due to diarrhea and dehydration. A rotavirus vaccine was developed. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on previous usage rates, during the first four years of vaccine use, more than 176,000 hospitalizations, 242,000 emergency department visits, and 1.1 million doctor’s visits among children under 5 were prevented, saving approximately $925 million in the U.S.

chickenpoxvaccine

Chickenpox actually kills, especially adults and those with compromised immune systems. Prior to development of the chicken pox vaccine, approximately 11,000 people were hospitalized a year in the United States from chickenpox. According to a study performed by the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, in the fifteen year period between 1994 and 2009, the chickenpox vaccine slashed the number of hospitalizations by 90%, across all age groups.

measlesvax

The recent measles outbreak has previously been discussed in Straight, No Chaser, but a 2011 outbreak was highlighted in detail in Pediatrics, and yes, the study speaks to the consequences of going without immunization. The CDC is clear that current measles outbreaks are due to parents withholding vaccines from their children, and this review could be the proverbial Exhibit A. The Minnesota Department of Health identified an outbreak infecting 21 people, with an average age of 1-year-old and whose parents in the community had largely withheld the measles vaccine. About 67% of those infected were hospitalized, mostly due to breathing complications and dehydration.
An interesting post-script to the findings in Minnesota directly involves the source of widespread misinformation about the measles vaccine (actually the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine; they’re all given together). The author of a discredited 1998 research paper that is the source of the alleged link between vaccines and autism had visited this community approximately four times, convincing many residents to go without the measles vaccine. This author, Andrew Wakefield, actually lost his right to practice medicine in England, and the journal that published his study retracted the paper linking autism and vaccines. However, you probably hadn’t heard that part of the story, and the autism-vaccine link continues in mythology via the internet and ill-informed “advocates.”
The story of diseases and vaccines is actually pretty linear and historically consistent.

  • There were a series of infectious diseases that once wreaked havoc on society, often killing mass numbers of humans.
  • Vaccines were developed to prevent infections (and their complications) from these microorganisms.
  • Mass vaccinations markedly reduced (and actually eliminated in some examples) the rate of contracting these diseases to where we take for granted the danger of the actual disease (discussing what it was like in the US when polio was a common disease would be an interesting conversation to have with your grandparents if you can).
  • Certain segments of society opt out of getting immunized over fear of the vaccine.
  • At some point when the vaccination rate drops below a certain percentage, the diseases return in those not immunized.

I welcome your questions. Discuss your legitimate concerns with your physician or experts personal healthcare consultants such as we offer at 844-SMA-TALK and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com. Protect your families. Without exception, if a vaccine exists, you should fear the disease more than the vaccine.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Straight, No Chaser: About That Vomiting and Diarrhea…

gastroenteritis.jpg.mid
You’ve all been there and done that. It’s always a bad day when you get the so-called stomach flu… First of all ‘the flu’ is a respiratory disease (affects the lungs, not the stomach and intestines), and the influenza viruses don’t cause that syndrome of vomiting and watery diarrhea. So, what you’re actually getting is gastroenteritis (gastro = stomach, entero = intestines, and itis = inflammation), an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Gastroenteritis means inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines. Most cases of gastroenteritis are infections caused by a variety of viruses that results in vomiting or diarrhea (other symptoms may include belly cramping, fever and headache from all that retching). There are other (bacterial) causes of vomiting and diarrhea, but the overwhelming number of cases is due to viruses. Your physician will know when the other considerations come into play. Here’s a few points you really want to know.
1. Is it serious?

  • In most cases of viral gastroenteritis, the symptoms and condition are rate limited and will come and go without much further ado. Your symptoms will last up to 10 days in most cases.
  • The concern isn’t nearly as much with the vomiting and diarrhea as it is with the dehydration that can result from all those fluid losses. Dehydration can cause all manner of electrolyte abnormalities, leading to serious acute illness and even death. In fact, diarrhea and dehydration have long been the number one cause of death worldwide outside of the United States.

2. Is it contagious?

  • Absolutely. This is one of the main reasons you’re always being told to wash your hands, especially after using the bathroom. Fecal-oral (yes, anus to mouth) transmission of viruses makes gastroenteritis and many other illnesses contagious. Hand shaking and other forms of contact (including eating food poorly handled or undercooked) extend the risk of transmission.

3. How can I avoid gastroenteritis?
There are good options available to you.

  • Avoid food and water that you believe to be contaminated, perhaps because others have had problems with it.
  • Frequent hand washing is very important.
  • Similarly, take steps to wash and disinfect possibly contaminated clothing and surfaces, preventing this before it gets started.
  • A vaccine is available for two of the more common causes of gastroenteritis. Discuss whether it’s appropriate for your child with his/her pediatrician (it needs to be given during your child’s first year of life).

4. How will it be treated?

  • Fluids, fluids and more fluids will be given, and unless you can’t keep anything down at all, the fluids should be given by mouth. It’s interesting to note that the U.S. overuses intravenous (IV) fluids much more in these instances than the rest of the world. Learn about oral rehydration therapy (ORT). It’s how the rest of the world (very successfully) treats most cases of vomiting and diarrhea, and it’s roughly approximated by all those popular rehydration brands. The key is to take in enough fluids to stay ahead of the fluid losses. ORT is available over the counter, and remember that you don’t have to guzzle it. As little as a teaspoon at a time still can keep you hydrated.

It’s important to discuss some other treatment considerations.

  • Antibiotics don’t work against these viruses, so in this example, they won’t be helpful.
  • In select instances, your physician may provide symptomatic treatment for vomiting and diarrhea, but in the absence of this, they should be avoided. There are significant consequences to taking these medications, and a physician should be involved in taking that risk.

In summary, you don’t always have to run to the ER when you get the runs. Stay hydrated, my friends.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress