If it's not the flu, then what is it?

Countless Arkansans have been diagnosed with the flu this season, but even more are coming down with other viruses that mimic those symptoms.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - If it's not the flu, then what's got you or your family feeling ill and rushing to the doctor's office for solutions?

Countless Arkansans have been diagnosed with the flu this season, but even more are coming down with other viruses that mimic those symptoms.  

Vomiting, fever, and even eye infections are signs you've got something. 

“Just imagine that you've dipped your hand in the sewer and you've got it dripping from your hands. Are you going to touch your face with that, no,” said Dr. Jerry Byrum at All for Kids Pediatric Clinic. He’s been swamped with patients lately. 

Thankfully, not everyone who ends up at the doctor's office has the flu, but the fact they’re there at all signals ongoing problems. 

Dr. Byrum is diagnosing his patients with lots of other viruses. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is one of them. 

“Sometimes the flu will lower your immunity and you can get other infections like ear infections, sinus infections and conjunctivitis. But most of the time, the flu doesn't do that,” he said. 

Stomach viruses are also going around right now, with a lot of vomiting and diarrhea.

You can expect that virus to last three to five days. 

“We've seen a little bit of some viral rashes. We had kids this morning who had little tiny dots on their chest and fever but it wasn't the flu, just what we call a viral exanthem or rash,” said Byrum. 

One dad brought his son in after he started to experience body aches. 

"He woke up this morning and was just hacking and coughing, then he threw up,” the dad said. His son didn’t have the flu but he did test positive for enterovirus, which has flu-like symptoms.

“We've got so many kids it becomes a regular trip,” he added. 

Enterovirus is normally popular in the spring. 

To keep from catching any of many things in the air right now spray and disinfect surfaces, wash your hands constantly and remember to cover coughs and sneezes. It’s also important to consume fluids and maintain a diet high in starchy foods.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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