Student News

Wash Your Hands, Avoid Gastroenteritis

Bryant Benson – April 19, 2019

WASH YOUR HANDS! WASH YOUR HANDS! WASH YOUR HANDS!

This past week at the Health Center we have seen a significant increase in the number of students presenting with complaints of nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea consistent with gastroenteritis (“the stomach virus”). Gastroenteritis is a general term for viral illnesses that cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Gastroenteritis is often referred to as “the stomach flu” but this is a misnomer because the virus that causes the Flu, influenza, does not cause gastroenteritis.

This recent uptick is not unexpected conisdering these illnesses tend to peak during the late winter and early spring.

Gastroenteritis fortunately tends to pass in 24-72 hours. While symptomatic it is important to stay hydrated by frequently drinking fluids as tolerated. Antibiotics are ineffective and can worse the symptoms of gastroenteritis.

HAND WASHING IS CRITICAL TO STOPPING THE SPREAD OF THIS ILLNESS. Hand sanitizers are unfortunately not as effective with these viruses as is washing your hands. Therefore please take the time to adequately wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds before meals and after using the bathroom.

Remember the Health Center is always open and here to help. Please feel free to come by if you are feeling ill and especially if you think you have a fever or are getting dehydrated.

Take care and be well,

Bryant “Bear” Benson, MD, FAAP
Director of Medical Services
Deerfield Academy Health and Wellness Center