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Our 7 year old son was hit with a stomach virus last Wednesday night.  He only vomited maybe twice during the night.  The next morning he was completely well again, and was that way for the next 5 days.  During those 5 days, he was in various settings where there were other kids around.  Then just last night (Monday night), he started vomiting again.  This time it was more persistent and occurred all throughout the night.  My question is, would this be the same infection, and if so, why would he be perfectly well those 5 days, or could it be that he caught another "stomach bug" (different strain)?  I heard that once people have the virus that they are still shedding the virus for 2-3 weeks, and could still be contagious for that long.  Is it likely that even though his body was still fighting the first virus, that a second one hit?  I never heard of this.  Thanks very much.

Hi, Dave,

This could either by a late phase of the first virus or this could, unfortunately, be a different virus causing similar symptoms.  We see this second virus phenomena all the time.  I look at it in this way: your bodies immune system is fighting one thing and sometimes has a hard time with a second viral load.  This may not exactly be true, but seems to make a bit of sense.  Actually the immune system is usually very redundant and can fight off a lot of stuff at once, as is the case when we vaccinate kids effectively while giving a number of shots at the same time.

So...the more I think about this, the more confusing it seems to me! Remember there are many distinctly different viruses that can cause the same symptoms and there is not necessarily a lot of immune cross-reactivity to these different pathogens.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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