Pike County Health Department Investigating Gastroenteritis Cases

By Benjamin Cox on June 22, 2022 at 9:50am

The Pike County Health Department is investigating a cluster of communicable illness.

Pike County Health Department Director of Nursing Sharon Bargmann says the illness dates back to Friday, June 10th with cases coming from throughout the county: “We are investigating a cluster of illnesses that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, stomach pains, headache, and body aches that occurred on the weekend of June 10th. Norovirus is suspected. We don’t have any known food source or cause other than that has been identified. With norovirus, normally symptoms develop between 12-48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus get better in 1-3 days.”

Bargmann says to look for severe symptoms of the illness in children and the elderly: “The best thing to look for is dehydration especially in young kids, older adults, or people with comorbidities or other illnesses. Symptoms of dehydration can be a decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up. Children who are dehydrated may cry with no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.”

Bargmann says some of the symptoms are similar to Covid-19 and people who suspect they have the stomach bug should get tested to rule one or the other out: “I would get tested if you think you have Covid-19. The Pike County Health Department does not test for norovirus. We just test for Covid. That would be on Thursdays from 8:30AM-11:30AM. Any time that you feel that you are sick and it’s not resolving, call your doctor. That’s your best bet.”

Bargmann says that with certain acute cases of gastroenteritis, it may require hospitalization. She says the best thing anyone can do is contact their primary care physician right away or visit their local emergency room for treatment if symptoms become severe.