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Dec 14, 2017

Healthy Living: Avoiding the Stomach Flu

No one wants to be sick during the holidays. Unfortunately, influenzas and stomach viruses are especially typical around this time of year. Tonight in Healthy Living, we look at why this is so and also what you can do to prevent it.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

If you’re a parent or teacher, you’ve probably noticed that around the same time the temperature drops, so does the frequency of your child’s illnesses – from colds and flu to vomiting and diarrhea. It is a predictable occurrence around this time of year.

 

Daniel Godinez

Dr. Daniel Godinez, Physician Specialist

“We’re going to starts seeing the yearly epidemics which are caused by viruses and which are activated at this time of the yea Why is that there are several theories as to why that happen but we do see that as the winter starts many viruses get activated including the viruses that causes stomach flu. Most of the time when we see vomiting diarrhea cramps at this time o the year we know that its cause of viruses due to the time of the year but you are quite correct, viruses are not the only ones causing gastroenteritis.”

Children and the elderly are most vulnerable. So even though the stomach flu should pass in two to three days after the symptoms start; you must remember to stay hydrated.

 

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“People and children can get easily dehydrated. The key to make it good through his kind of problem is to stay hydrated.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“What’s your advice to help keep kids hydrated especially if they are vomiting?”

 

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“What we recommend is that the child gets frequent amounts of solution, hydrating solution but in small amount or sips. They shouldn’t be big amounts because that causes the child to vomit. But it should be done frequently every ten to fifteen minutes. Another thing to remember is that most of these infections are viral in cause and so the use of antibiotics does not help to cure them.”

 

Another fear people have during the holidays is getting sick after eating improperly cooked food. Unfortunately, the featured bird of the Christmas spread – is notorious for its connection to food poisoning. No one wants to bake a dry turkey, but how do you know it’s properly cooked and safe to eat? Here’s Chef Sean Kuylen’s advice on his technique.

 

Sean Kuylen

Sean Kuylen, Chef

“People like to get intimidated by turkey. Turkey is technically a member of the poultry family; it is just a big chicken. So what you would do with a chicken bake it whole. The only advice I can give you, the professional advice, is the time and temperature that is the enemy. So see unlike pork and beef and fish; fish you can eat raw in sushi, beef you can have medium rare, but poultry has to be cooked one hundred and sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the rule. That’s the law. It cannot be anything less than that. So always use a meat thermometer and go to one hundred adn sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit.  Salmonella is a real thing and even when you handle the bird. You put it in your kitchen sink you put on the water and it splashes you don’t see it; it’s microscopic. It’s on your hands then you cross contaminate. That means you take your hand and/or your cutting board and you didn’t wash it properly and you go and cut vegetables. Imagine, you eat a salad and you have the juice from this bird leaking.”

 

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“Food poisoning is different in several ways. Number one, the cause of it is different; it’s from bacteria. The second, the way it is transmitted is through the fecal oral route, meaning it can be easily passed by contaminated food or contaminated hands. For example, people who handle food; they have the   bacteria or toxins and they go to the bathroom and they don’t wash their hands or they don’t wash their hands properly and then start handling food.”

 

As important as keeping the cooking area clean, is keeping your hands clean. In fact, it is the number one form of protection from these types of illnesses.

 

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“It has been found in many studies that the most effective way to prevent the transmission of all these diseases is simple by washing hands. There is a proper way of washing hands: you must use soap and water and some have even said when washing your hands, you can sing happy birthday two times and that will be enough time to clean your hands properly.”

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