LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There is a health alert about a stomach bug making the rounds in Lexington.
Officials at the Fayette County Health Department say they're seeing an increase in the bug, especially in schools.
The illness lasts about 2 to 3 days. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping.
The gastrointestinal illness is highly contagious and health officials say the best way to avoid it is to wash your hands.
One Fayette County school has been hit hard by the illness.
Landsdowne Elementary has had many students out because of it.
On Friday, 120 children and 12 teachers were out. By Monday, it was down to 11 students and four teachers.
Health officials say it is important to let the illness run its course before returning back to school or work.
"It happens in work places, newsrooms, classrooms. It's a lot easier for germs to be shared. Typically because it's kids or adults sharing the same equipment ... keyboards, computers, Phones, door knobs. Make sure you wipe those things down and wash your hands," says health department spokesman Kevin Hall.
Health officials stress there is no such thing as the stomach flu. Even if you get your flu shot, it will not protect you from the stomach bug.
Another concern health officials have with the stomach bug is dehydration. They encourage people who get sick to drink plenty of liquids during the course of the illness.
For those that have experienced the dreaded stomach bug, they're doing everything they can to avoid getting it again.
"It's not a good time. You can't really do anything or go anywhere. It kind of interrupts your life," says Lexington resident, Christina Busse.
Busse nannies for a three-year-old girl, named Penny. She's making it a priority to keep Penny from catching the stomach bug.
"Probably throughout the day, I mean I know today, she has already washed them at least four times already. We've only been together for about two hours today," says Busse.
Health officials say that using hand sanitizer should only be a secondary method to fighting off the stomach bug. They say hand washing is the most effective way to prevent catching the stomach bug.