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Flu or stomach virus? Both can spread easily in winter

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — During the holidays, families commonly spread germs and cause each other to get sick and, during the winter months, the flu has the ability to run through your friends and loved ones.

However, there’s another virus going around right now you might confuse with the flu. It’s called viral gastroenteritis, also known as the GI bug.

Typically with the flu, people will have symptoms in their respiratory tracts such as sneezing, sniffles, coughing and even a sore throat. The GI bug can have those same symptoms, but more nausea plus vomiting and diarrhea.

Both viruses have similar self-treatments once you’ve been infected: hydration and rest.

Jacqueline Seevers, a physician assistant at IU Health Family Medicine in downtown Indianapolis, knows about the GI bug. She shed light on how easily the bug can easily spread to others.

“It is a virus and it’s spread by germs so basically unless your hygiene is really on it, it can be common to catch it again,” Seevers said. “Things I recommend to my patients if you get the GI bug: Make sure that you’re washing your hands frequently. Disinfect all the surfaces in your home, bathrooms and countertops.

Seevers also added that simply washing your hands can make the difference in making sure nobody else close to you catches the bug

“If you’re preparing food, you’re going to want to wash your hands every time you touch food because that’s how people in your household can get it,” she said.

Seevers recommended people stay away from others with the GI bug for at least two to three days. If children get it, she suggested keeping them home from schools or day cares for at least two days so they won’t pass the bug around.

According to Seevers, the bug should be out of your system after three days.


Missing toddler’s mother and grandmother are in same jail

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The mother and grandmother of a missing 15-month-old girl are now in the same Tennessee jail after giving conflicting accounts about the toddler’s disappearance.

Authorities frustrated by their multiple versions of what happened to Evelyn Mae Boswell announced Wednesday that they’ll hold an afternoon news conference on developments in the case, which prompted an Amber Alert after she was reported missing on Feb. 18, at least seven weeks after she was last seen.

The girl’s 18-year-old mother, Megan Boswell, is in the Sullivan County Jail in Tennessee on a charge of filing a false police report. Her mother, Angela Boswell, is being held there as well, on charges of theft and violating probation in an earlier case.

One version Megan Boswell has repeated is that her mother took her daughter to a campground in Mendota, Virginia; authorities then searched multiple campgrounds in that area and found no sign of the girl, WJHL-TV reported.

Angela Boswell and her boyfriend, William McCloud, were arrested last week in North Carolina on fugitive warrants unrelated to the toddler’s disappearance. Before she was returned to Tennessee, Boswell told the judge she wanted to go home and resolve the situation with her granddaughter, news outlets reported.

Boswell was returned to the Sullivan County jail on Monday evening and arraigned on Tuesday on a theft charge, news outlets reported. The judge set her bond at $5,000 in the case, but Sullivan County Sheriff’s Capt. Andy Seabolt said she will remain incarcerated because a bondsman revoked her bond in another, unrelated case.

Megan Boswell joined her mother at the jail Tuesday night, and her bond was set at $25,000, the sheriff’s office said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, said there are so many unanswered questions that it decided to post a video addressing what they don’t know.

The TBI said McCloud and Boswell are “believed to have information” regarding the girl’s whereabouts. The agency also said that while the Amber Alert said Evelyn Mae was last seen on Dec. 26, they can’t be sure of the date because of the mother and grandmother’s conflicting accounts.

The Bristol Herald Courier reported that the Amber Alert was issued after the sheriff’s office received a Tennessee Department of Children’s Services referral saying family members hadn’t seen the baby in about two months. The baby’s great-grandfather, David Jones, told the newspaper that he hadn’t seen the baby since about a week before Thanksgiving.