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Here's why the stomach bug is making a comeback

Health officials are seeing more cases of the stomach bug after not seeing that much during the pandemic.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Similar to how we didn't have a flu season last year, we really didn't have a stomach flu season either. 

According to CDC data, it's making a comeback and that includes right here in Arkansas.

At All For Kids Pediatric Clinic, Dr. Jerry Byrum said after COVID settled down they were diagnosing a lot of flu, but now that spring is in the air, the stomach bug is back.

"During January, I was seeing about 10 cases of COVID daily, and I haven't it diagnosed COVID in two months," he said.

Now, there's a different virus taking up most of Dr. Byrum's time.

"So, we have norovirus and we have enterovirus, so it could be either one of those," he said.

Basically those are terms for a more intense or mild version of the stomach flu, which Dr. Byrum said he is seeing about seven to eight kids per day.

"During COVID It was nice to not have to deal with all of it, but now that COVID is kind of coming down a little bit, it's pretty natural to see it. So it's not a shock," he said.

Dr. Byrum said they're seeing it mostly in school-aged kids, which isn't out of the norm for this kind of year, it's just that infections are back.

"We're getting more viruses because people are taking their masks off," he said.

It's a similar opinion shared by pharmacist Kyleigh Stout.

"I think people are finally feeling comfortable enough to take their mask off and finally feeling comfortable enough to be around other people, so that's sort of the what we're seeing," she said.

Stout said what they're seeing at Cornerstone Pharmacy Rodney Parham is a lot of flu, colds, and stomach bug.

"I think it has to do with the fact that our immune systems probably aren't as good as they once were because we haven't been exposed to it," she said.

While there isn't a magic pill for this illness and it takes a lot of rest and fluids to feel better, Stout said the bug isn't just picking on the youngest generation.

"I know a lot of people, a lot of my friends children's have had it. A lot of our customers have had it so, but I would say it's mixed 100%," she said.

Some symptoms to look out for is a stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea. 

Dr. Byrum said an adult could be sick with this for 12 to 24 hours, while a child may be sick for three to five days.

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