Winter sickness arrives with holiday rush

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Do you find yourself feeling a bit "under the weather" this time of the year...every year?  If so, you're not alone.  In fact, more people in our area are coming down with the stomach bug and common cold as the Christmas rush moves into full swing.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for Dr. Lacey Millet with the LCMH-LSU Family Medicine Residency Program.  "We are seeing a ton of viral gastroenteritis," she says, "commonly known as the 'norovirus,' which just presents with people coming in with lots of vomiting, nausea and diarrhea."

Summer Woods and her six-year-old son are two of the many people in Southwest Louisiana that got bit by the stomach bug.  "We had diarrhea and vomiting," says Summer, "we just stayed home and slept all day."

Dr. Millet says the holidays are a prime time for the spreading of germs.  "This time of year, people spend more time indoors than they do outdoors and that promotes the virus to spread more easily from person to person, just because people are in closer contact," says Dr. Miller.

The highly contagious stomach virus is not the only sickness being passed around.  "We are seeing quite a bit of upper respiratory tract infections," she says, "colds, coughs, tonsillitis, eczema."

For dry skin conditions like eczema, Dr. Millet says moisturizing lotions are the best treatment.  "Make sure you use them especially after you're done bathing," she suggests, "that's whenever your skin can really absorb the most moisture."

The best protection for the contagious winter ailments is frequent handwashing.  If you are fighting a virus, hydration is key.

Lots of fluid and a good day's rest is what had Summer back on her feet again after one bad day.  "Just letting my body rest," she says, "and doing what it needed to do to get it healthy again."

If your symptoms don't improve after 48 hours, you should see a doctor.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Millet or one of the other physicians on staff at LCMH/LSU Family Medicine, call 337-494-6767.

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