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Las Vegas pediatrician warns of stomach virus sweeping through the valley

Las Vegas pediatrician warns family about stomach virus hitting the valley
Posted at 10:39 PM, Dec 12, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nausea, diarrhea and a sore throat are just a few of the symptoms of a different kind of illness that is hitting the Las Vegas valley.

Pediatricians say they have seen a wave of stomach virus cases this month. Ashley Ore is one of those cases. She had to disinfect her entire home after her whole family was hit by a stomach virus.

It is an illness she thought was COVID but turns out it was something like food poisoning.

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

She believes one of her kids got it first, then it spread through the home like wildfire. Max, her 5-year-old, was hit the hardest. What began 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 nonstop throwing up 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 there are two common viruses in the valley currently. One is called enterovirus and the other is an adenovirus. People with weaker immune systems, like children or people with respiratory or cardiac issues, are more at risk.

Dr. Carrie Wijesinghe with Siena Pediatrics says in the past month, she has seen a wave of new patients, and one in every three had the virus.

“About 16 to 18 percent of the patients, whether they are kids or adults who have COVID, actually have the GI manifestation of it, too, so it is difficult to distinguish it,” Wijesinghe said.

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

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

Wijesinghe says if you begin to have symptoms, contact your primary doctor. Symptoms for this virus are very similar to that of COVID-19, so it is important to get medical care as soon as possible, she said.

Hear more on this story in Monday's Daily Debrief:

Daily Debrief: Vegas pediatrician warns of stomach virus sweeping through the valley