A seasonal outbreak of the stomach flu has hit Bradley.
Medical Director of Health Services Dr. Jessica Higgs said there have been many students calling in with the stomach flu, but it hasn’t been more than any other year.
“This is a fairly normal amount for this time of year,” she said. “A viral stomach flu, otherwise known as gastroenteritis, hits almost every campus every year.”
She said it is caused by students being confined indoors, which is the prime place for viruses to spread, and being in close contact with others.
Senior physics major Ben Blomberg said he had the stomach flu at the end of last weekend for about a day.
“I felt ill for about two or three days and just started vomiting one day,” he said. “The first day was really bad, I had trouble keeping water down.”
Blomberg said he lives in a fraternity house, and one or two other guys in the house had stomach flu as well.
“My girlfriend got sick, too,” he said. “And we had an alumnus come who ended up getting the stomach flu.”
Higgs said flu symptoms include nausea that sometimes causes vomiting. Others include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, pain or tenderness, appetite loss, fever and weakness.
“Vomiting usually only lasts for 24 to 48 hours but the diarrhea can last up to a week,” she said.
Freshman mechanical engineering major Xavier Sanchez said he felt those symptoms when he had the stomach flu a week ago.
“I was tired, had a fever, kept throwing up and couldn’t eat,” he said. “I pretty much only had it one day, so I just tried to stay away from everyone else.”
Blomberg said he experienced similar symptoms.
“I just woke up that morning feeling horrible,” he said. “I had an upset stomach, fever and vomiting. I’ve never felt like that.”
Blomberg said he didn’t know where he got the stomach flu, but Higgs said it is spread by eating or drinking items that are contaminated with the virus.
“Frequent hand-washing is the key to preventing the spread of viruses like those that cause the stomach flu,” she said.
Sanchez said he doesn’t know where he got the stomach flu either.
“I heard there were some floors on Geisert who had it, and one of my friends has it right now,” he said. “I didn’t take anything for it, I just waited it out since it only lasted a day.”
Higgs said information about gastroenteritis is located on the Health Services’s Web site which discusses signs and symptoms, causes, preventative measures, outcomes and what you should eat during the illness.
“Any further questions [about the stomach flu] can always be answered by a call to the Health Center,” she said.