Infant Stomach Flu
There is no medicine that will kill a stomach flu virus. Therefore, stomach flu treatment in infants is focused on providing supportive care while the body fights the stomach flu infection. Supportive care refers to treating symptoms, such as dehydration, that occur as a result of the stomach flu infection.
Infants present special concerns. Because of their smaller body size, they are at greater risk of dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting. Therefore, giving special fluids by mouth (oral rehydration therapy) is the most effective stomach flu supportive treatment. Oral rehydration treatments (such as Pedialyte® or Infalyte®) prevent most dehydration. Special fluids used for oral rehydration can be found in most pharmacies or grocery stores and can be purchased without a prescription.
Parents of infants with severe diarrhea should start oral rehydration and take their child for medical evaluation. In severe cases requiring a visit to the emergency room or hospitalization, stomach flu treatment may involve replacing body fluids through the veins using an intravenous (IV) line.
(Click Stomach Flu Treatment for more information.)
Fortunately, for infants with healthy immune systems, the body is able to effectively kill stomach flu, and after 1 to 10 days, stomach flu symptoms in infants generally improve.