Stomach virus sends dozens to area hospitals

Stomach virus sends dozens to area hospitals (Image 1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A viral gastroenteritis has hit the city of Nashville, keeping hundreds home from work and sending many to area hospitals.

The stomach bug first began showing up in patients around Thanksgiving and hasn't stopped making people sick.

Dr. Tracy Motyka, an emergency room physician at Saint Thomas Hospital, told News 2 they're seeing patients with the virus almost every week.

“We're seeing quite a few patients with vomiting, diarrhea and it seems to come in waves,” she said.  “We'll see several with it and then we may go a few days without seeing it.  Then, it seems to come back again.  It isn't letting up this year.”

Dr. Douglas Holliday treated a patient Wednesday morning for the symptoms but said there's little anyone can do.

He said not everyone who shows symptoms needs to see a doctor but if you feel dizzy and like you are going to faint, “you best go to the emergency room.”

While most people with the virus at Saint Thomas are treated for dehydration, given medicine and sent home to recover, there are some who require admission to the hospital and have spent two to three nights in recovery.

Dr. Holliday can empathize with his patients.

He first came down with the stomach virus eight days ago and is still getting over some of the symptoms.

He told News 2 he felt like someone had “bopped” him in the stomach and almost always had “that queasy nausea feeling.”

Holliday continued, “First it was the nausea and headache, and then I had chills, a low grade fever, night sweats and then the diarrhea started about 48 hours after the symptoms started.”

To keep the virus from spreading, Dr. Holliday suggests people wash their hands and avoid contact with people who have the virus.

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