Vegas pediatrician warns of stomach virus sweeping the valley

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nausea, diarrhea and sore throat are just some of the symptoms of a different kind of illness that afflicts the Las Vegas Valley.

Pediatricians say they have seen a surge in stomach virus cases this month. Ashley Ore is one of those cases. She had to disinfect her entire house after her entire family was struck by a stomach virus.

It’s a disease she thought was COVID, but it turned out to be something like food poisoning.

“It’s like the flu, you feel very unwell, you don’t feel well for 24 hours, and then you have a few days where you have to rebuild your immune system,” Ore said.

She believes one of her children got it first, and then it spread like wildfire through the house. Max, her 5-year-old, was hit the hardest. What started as a sore throat and fever led to uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea.

“It was so abrupt and so sudden and the symptoms that came with it, it was just throwing up nonstop all night for him,” Ore said. “I mean, it was a consistency. There was nothing left in his stomach and yet he was still throwing up.”

Doctors told 13 Action News that there are currently two common viruses in the valley. One is called enterovirus and the other is an adenovirus. People with weaker immune systems, such as children or those with breathing or heart problems, are more at risk.

dr. Carrie Wijesinghe of Siena Pediatrics says she has seen a surge in new patients in the past month and that one in three had the virus.

“About 16 to 18 percent of patients, whether they are children or adults who have COVID, also have the GI manifestation of it, so it’s hard to distinguish it,” Wijesinghe said.

More than just patients, Wijesinghe says in the past month, four of her doctors have also called in sick with this virus. She says the most important thing for them is to stay hydrated.

“We’re going into the holidays, and a lot of us want to get together, at least with small gatherings,” Wijesinghe said, “and I tell families that have young children all the time if there’s anyone who’s sick at that gathering, then it’s maybe not a good idea to be there too.”

Wijesinghe says if you start having symptoms, you should contact your doctor. Symptoms for this virus are very similar to those of COVID-19, so it’s important to get medical care as soon as possible, she said.

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