Queen’s stomach bug common among non-royalty too
The stomach virus that put Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in the hospital this past weekend is apparently no respecter of persons. The gastroenteritis that forced her to cancel a week’s worth of engagements is common but can be more serious in older patients.
“Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the digestive tract, including the stomach and intestines, related to a virus,” Dr. Olivera says. “Typically, patients have diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.”
Dr. Olivera said these symptoms normally only last a day or two and resolve on their own, though they can lead to complications with elderly patients, like the queen.
“The condition can be more dangerous with seniors, since they may have other complicating medical conditions,” he says. “As with the queen, hospitalization may be required to provide fluids intravenously, if the patient becomes dehydrated from the diarrhea and vomiting.”
Anyone with persistent nausea, vomiting and diarrhea should seek medical attention if the symptoms don’t ease in two to three days, Dr. Olivera says.
“This isn’t a life-threatening condition, in and of itself,” he says. “The danger is the possible dehydration. Hospitalization is only taken as a precautionary measure.”
Dr. Oivera says there isn’t medication that can knock out the bug.
“Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done for the actual condition. You just have to let it run its course.”
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