Stomach Flu Makes Rounds, New Vaccine Approved

Updated: 11/22/2012 8:00 AM KSTP.com By: Mitch Pittman

 Parents, brace yourselves. It's that time of year when stomach bugs start making their rounds.

The first thing you need to know about stomach flu is it's not actually the flu.

"People talk about the stomach flu and think, well I got my shot, I shouldn't get this, and that's unfortunately wrong," said Dr. Bruce Cunningham with Entira Family Clinics.

He adds that kids are more susceptible because their immune systems aren't as strong as adults. Cunningham points out that it's going to happen at one point or another no matter what. The important thing is to know what to do when you or your child does get it, and you might not even need to go to the doctor."

"You just need to use common sense, do what grandma would have said," Cunningham recommends. On the first day, only consume clear liquids. For instance, apple juice instead of orange juice. Then as the days progress, eat mild foods like bananas and rice, limit dairy, and you should be good in about three days.

And with the holidays coming, the risk for spreading stomach bugs increases.

"Not so much of a problem tomorrow, but with the leftovers in the next few days it might be a bigger issue," said Cunningham. "Just being around a lot of people shaking hands, hugging, those kinds of things transmit more germs, so good hand washing if you can."

Meanwhile, scientists approved a new seasonal flu vaccine, because they can make it faster than previous ones.
    
Eggs are typically used to develop flu vaccines. But this new one called "Flu-Celvax," is instead made from animal cells. It's the first flu vaccine made this way.
   
Scientists have used cells for decades for other vaccines. They say "Flu-Celvax" will help if there's a viral outbreak and vaccines are needed fast.
    
However, the FDA only approved the vaccine for adults 18 or older.