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Flu Vs Stomach Flu

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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General | Latest Info

Despite its name, stomach flu is actually isnt flu at all. Flu is a seasonal influenza - respiratory infection caused by one of many influenza viruses. Flu shots provide you with an inactivated version of what is expected to be the most common influenza viruses that season so that your body starts to make antibodies to fight off viruses before it even encounters flu. This can prevent you from getting the flu or make symptoms less severe. It is still possible to get the flu after youve had flu shot because there are so many different strains. Strain you get may not be the exact strains in this year's flu shot. But even then, having had flu shot offers some protection, leading to less severe symptoms and faster recovery. Accurate name for stomach flu is viral gastroenteritis, and its caused by a completely different group of viruses. Actually, many different types of viruses can cause gastroenteritis,. The most common are noroviruses and rotaviruses. Because they are not Cause by influenza, seasonal flu shots will not protect you from stomach flu. Unfortunately, there isnt currently a vaccine for viruses that cause stomach flu. Despite that, flu shots are still your best protection from getting seasonal flu and are recommended for anyone over 6 months old, including pregnant women. Women who get vaccine during pregnancy pass antibodies to their babies and actually help protect newborns after birth. Most physician practices have supplies of flu vaccines and vaccination is 100% covered by most insurance plans. You can also walk in to any HCA Midwest Health Walk - in Clinic or CareNow Urgent Care Centers for flu shot.S It is not too late, flu season can run through May! Seasonal flu and stomach flu do have some things in common. Both can: come on suddenly and severely, including High Fever, Lead to dehydration, Cause dangerous complications, especially to young children, adults over 65 or those with compromised immune systems Spread easily from person to person. Be more common in winter months, when people stay indoors more and can more easily pass viruses to others. Be prevent with frequent hand - washing and cleaning of common surfaces. Of course, you may not know what virus is causing your symptoms. That is why it is important to touch base with your doctor, especially if symptoms are severe, have continued for more than a few days or have worsen. Most flu symptoms can be safely treated at home, but seek immediate medical attention for any of the following: Fever, Vomiting or any severe symptoms in children under 3 months old Difficulty breathing, Chest pain or pressure, Dizziness or fainting, High Fever, severe Vomiting or Diarrhea that doesnt go away after 4 - 6 hours If you are not sure whether you should head to doctor, Urgent Care or ER, nurses on - Call can help. Call 1 - 800 - 386 - 9355 to talk to a registered nurse 24 hours day, 7 days week - free service of HCA Midwest Health.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

What Causes It?

Stomach flu is when your stomach and intestines become inflamed and irritated. Although causes of stomach flu range from bacteria and parasites to food reactions and unclean water, close to half of all gastroenteritis cases in adults and even more in children are caused by virus. For this reason, stomach flu cannot be treated with antibiotics. Stomach flu usually develops after contact with an infected person or consuming contaminated food or water. Stomach flu and gastroenteritis symptoms often last for three to seven days and sometimes up to 10 days. The most common form of stomach flu is norovirus, which causes 19 million to 21 million illnesses each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

What Is Stomach Flu? (gastroeneritis)

Gastroenteritis is a nonspecific term for various inflammatory problems in the gastrointestinal tract with the most common symptoms and signs being Diarrhea, Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains. Gastroenteritis is often referred to as stomach flu, however, it is not related to the influenza virus. In the US, less than 2% of the estimated 100 million people with stomach flu symptoms per year ever require hospitalization, but in developing countries it is the leading cause of death, mainly due to dehydration. Bacteria and viruses - infectious agents - are the most frequent causes of gastroenteritis in the US and worldwide. Infections cause diarrhea and other symptoms by causing inflammation of gastrointestinal tissue. Infections increase fluid content in the intestines and colon by changing the gastrointestinal tract's ability to absorb water and by increasing the speed of transit for things you ingest. This, in turn, causes Diarrhea. Infectious agents may physically damage intestinal cells directly or indirectly by secreting toxins. If gastroenteritis symptoms last more than about five days, increase in severity, or the person develops bloody diarrhea, dehydration, constant abdominal pain or other symptoms, see a physician. Patient may have some gastroenteritis symptoms but may have a disease more serious than self - limiting gastroenteritis. Signs and symptoms of dehydration may include decrease or no urine production, dry mucus membranes, dry mouth or skin, no tears, weakness, lightheadedness and low blood pressure, While children may show little or no urination, become lethargic, have skin that tents up when pinch. Signs of dehydration in anyone are good reasons to see a doctor immediately. There are no specific tests for gastroenteritis, thus gastroenteritis is most often diagnosed by symptoms it produce, mainly diarrhea. Because gastroenteritis is usually a self - limited disease, large majority of people are never seen or diagnosed by a doctor. However, during outbreaks like those seen on cruise ships, viral and bacterial cultures or PCR and other immunologically based tests can eventually identify causative pathogen. By time this identification occur, most individuals with gastroenteritis have begun to recover. When gastroenteritis symptoms become severe, most public health officials and health care professionals run such tests to identify causative agent of specific disease, based on all history of patients, physical exams, and symptoms. In addition, patients with similar histories of recent food or drink they had in common with others often help to discover the source of disease. Some health care professionals suggest a special diet for gastroenteritis, especially for viral and / or bacterial infections in children. First and foremost is adequate fluid rehydration to prevent dehydration. Diet frequently suggested is the term BRAT diet. This diet consists of foods that are not usually irritating but soothing for the gastrointestinal tract. Brat diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

What is the Flu? (influenza)

Stomach flu and influenza are two terms that are often used interchangeably to mean common flu. And since influenza results in a weakened immune system, many people experience other viruses, like norovirus, while having flu. This causes people to associate gastrointestinal issues with flu, BUT the two viruses are very different. Here's what Campbell County Health's Infection Preventionist Kate Craig, BSN, RN, wants you to know about two viruses. Influenza, or flu, is a virus that affects the respiratory tract and can cause fever, body aches, chills, cough, congestion, runny nose and fatigue. Symptoms generally come on very quickly and spread easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and even by speaking. We know that the influenza virus travels six feet from an infected person, and more than 20 feet with unprotected coughing. There is no cure for influenza, BUT there are antiviral medications that can help you feel better and recover faster. Antibiotics do not work for flu because antibiotics only kill bacteria, and flu is a virus. Vaccines can help prevent flu or lessen severity if you do get it. The influenza virus is very good at changing what it looks like, which is why scientists have not been able to make a flu vaccine that works perfectly all the time. While it is possible for influenza to cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, there is no such thing as stomach flu. Sometimes children will have vomiting and diarrhea with influenza, BUT it rarely occurs in adults. It is more likely that those symptoms are caused by virus or bacteria that affect the gut. This is called gastroenteritis. Depending on the bug, it can be very contagious. Usually, when someone says they have stomach flu, they actually have norovirus, which is not related to influenza at all. It can cause nausea, vomiting, Diarrhea and abdominal pain that lasts from one to three days. It is very contagious while person has symptoms and for several days after they feel better. Handwashing is a critical method in preventing the spread of norovirus. In fact, good handwashing is the most important step in keeping yourself healthy. Lather up well with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, to sanitize your hands. Clean your hands before and after eating, after using the restroom, whenever dirty and before and after taking care of someone who is sick or frail. If you have respiratory symptoms, protect others by wearing a mask. Cough or sneeze into inside of your elbow, throw away used tissues immediately and clean your hands after any self - Care.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Tips for prevention

Even though stomach bug is sometimes called stomach flu, your annual flu vaccine will not prevent it. Different types of viruses cause stomach bug. Antibiotics will not help treat stomach bugs because antibiotics work to treat bacterial infections, not viruses. Take measures to prevent yourself from transmitting stomach flu to others. Youre typically most contagious when youre feeling worst and a few days afterward. A bug can stay on your stool for up to two weeks. Wash your hands often and stay home from work or school for at least few days after you feel better. You should also consider having your baby get vaccine against rotavirus when theyre 2 months old.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Takeaway

Table

Symptoms"The Flu"Food Poisoning
Body aches and painsCommon: headache and muscle achesCommon: headache, backache and stomach cramps
FatigueCommon (often extreme)Common (often extreme)
FeverCommonCommon
GastrointestinalRarely prominentCommon (often severe)
Gastrointestinal: NauseaRarely prominentCommon
Gastrointestinal: DiarrheaRarely prominentCommon
Respiratory: Chest discomfort, coughCommon (often extreme, can become severe)Rare
Respiratory: Nasal congestion, sore throat, runny or stuffy noseCommonRare
Prevent or Lessen RiskAnnual VaccinationProper Food Handling

While many symptoms of stomach bug and food poisoning are similar, it is important to determine which sickness you may have. Occur more quickly or later after exposure become more severe than symptoms of stomach bug. Be shorter in duration than symptoms of stomach bug depending on the cause, your immune system function, and your overall health, food poisoning or viral gastroenteritis may become severe enough to require medical attention. However, many people can usually manage either condition with rest, hydration, and at - home medical treatment. If youre unsure about what is causing your symptoms, check in with your doctor to be safe. Other health issues can cause similar symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In any case, call your doctor for help if your symptoms worsen.


Causes

Food poisoning is caused by consuming food or beverages that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasite.S question is, how does food become contaminated in the first place? Contamination can happen at any point during production, processing or cooking of food. Potential causes of contamination include: not being cooked completely, food that needs to be kept cold, not being stored properly, Leaving cooked food unrefrigerated for a long time, food being touched by someone who is sick and does not wash their hands Cross - contamination or spreading of bacteria between food, surfaces and equipment certain foods are more susceptible to picking up bacteria and viruses, and are therefore more likely to cause Food poisoning. These foods include: eggs, poultry, meat, unpasteurized milk, Cheese, unwashed raw fruits and vegetables, Nuts Spices In addition, there are different food safety standards and requirements in different parts of the world. Particularly in developing and third world countries, it is important to be vigilant about what you eat or drink. There are six bacteria and viruses that are the most common culprits of food poisoning: campylobacter: This is most often found in unpasteurized milk, poultry, shellfish, and contaminated water. Its main symptom is diarrhea, and it usually lasts between 2 - 10 days. Clostridium perfringens: this bacteria is common in beef, poultry, gravy, and other food that is leave too long at room temperature or warmer. It causes diarrhea and stomach cramps, but usually no fever or vomiting, and only lasts 24 - hours or less. E. Coli: E. Coli can be found in undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk and juice, soft cheeses, raw fruits and vegetables, contaminated water, animals such as cows, sheep, and goats, and feces of infected people. E. Coli symptoms include severe diarrhea that may be bloody, severe stomach pain, and vomiting, usually with no fever and can last for 5 - 10 days. Listeria: Listeria is found in unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, raw fruits and vegetables, deli meats, hot dogs, pates, meat spreads, smoked seafood. In most cases, Listeria causes fever and diarrhea, and can easily be mistaken for other types of food poisoning. But if bacteria spreads outside of the gut, it can become invasive listeriosis and cause fever, fatigue, muscle aches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Listeria is especially dangerous for pregnant women, so if you are pregnant and have these symptoms, you should seek emergency care immediately. Norovirus: As discussed above, Norovirus is cause of stomach flu, but since it can be transmitted through food, it is also cause of food poisoning. Norovirus can be found in produce, shellfish, ready - to - eat foods handled by infected people, or any foods that were contaminated by infected people vomiting or feces. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain and last for 1 - 3 days. Salmonella: Salmonella is present in vegetables, chicken, pork, fruits, nuts, eggs, beef, sprouts, as well as in reptiles, frogs, birds, and some pet foods and treats. It causes diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and vomiting that can last for 4 - 7 days.


Treatment

Home remedies described above will also work for the vast majority of stomach viruses. Because stomach flu is caused by viruses, antibiotics will not be prescribe. If doctor suspects that there is a bacterial cause, then lab tests can be ordered and antibiotics prescribed if necessary. There are over - counter medicines that can be used for stomach flu treatment: you can take acetaminophen or other pain relievers to help reduce fever and ease any aches and pains, or bismuth subsalicylate for nausea and indigestion. A doctor may prescribe metoclopramide to prevent vomiting or loperamide to stop diarrhea.


What Is a Stomach Virus?

Many symptoms of stomach flu and food poisoning are the same, but it is important to know which illness you have so that you can make the right treatment decisions and know what to expect. And so you can know whether or not you are contagious or if you need to warn others about particular food or restaurant. Stomach flu is caused by a viruses while food poisoning comes from contaminated food. This information is not necessarily enough to help you identify what you are suffering from, but there are several key differences to keep in mind: symptoms of food poisoning, while they may be similar to those of stomach flu, tend to be more severe. Food poisoning symptoms are likely to start between one and eight hours from the time contaminated food was consume, while stomach viruses have a 24 - 48 hour incubation period. Stomach bug symptoms usually last 1 - 3 days as compared to food poisoning symptoms which can resolve themselves anywhere between a few hours to 1 - 2 days.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

How noroviruses are diagnosed

Norovirus infection can cause sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea. Viruss are highly contagious and commonly spread through food or water that is contaminated during preparation or through contaminated surfaces. You can ALSO be infected through close contact with an infected person. Diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting typically begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Norovirus symptoms usually last one to three days, and most people recover completely without treatment. However, for some people, especially infants, older adults and people with underlying Disease Vomiting and diarrhea, can be severely dehydrating and require medical attention. Norovirus infection occurs most frequently in closed and crowded environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care centers, schools and cruise ships.


What Is Norovirus?

If you come down with norovirus infection, you 'll probably go from feeling completely healthy to absolutely miserable within a day or two after being expose. Typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Low - grade fever Chills Headache Muscle aches Fatigue Most of these symptoms aren't serious, but diarrhea and vomiting can deplete your body of fluid it need,sss and you can become dehydrated. Children and elderly are most susceptible to dehydration, as well as malnutrition from not getting enough nutrients. If you have norovirus symptoms, your doctor can give you a stool test to confirm that you have an illness. But norovirus diagnosis is usually made based only on symptoms. It is possible to shed the virus for up to 8 weeks. This means there is a chance you could make other people sick. It usually gets less and less infectious over time. In most cases, you can return to work or school after you have been symptom - free for 48 hours. Food service workers are generally encouraged to wait 72 hours before they handle food. Call your doctoras office if you still have symptoms after 3 days. Also, watch for symptoms of dehydration, which may also require doctoras attention. In rare cases, vomiting could mean something more serious than norovirus. If your vomit is green or yellow, that could be a sign of bowel obstruction. See doctor right away.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

How long does norovirus last?

Stomach flu does not last very long in children or adults. It typically clears up within 2 - 8 days, depending on the virus that causes it. There are no formal treatments, but rest, fluids, and easy - to - digest foods can help ease symptoms. After persons symptoms go away, virus might still be contagious for several days. People can reduce their risk of getting sick by avoiding close contact with those who have illness. If someone in their household has stomach flu, they should clean all surfaces thoroughly and wash any towels, bedding, and other materials that person uses.


Norovirus Fact Sheet

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is the most common cause of stomach flu, causing 19 - 21 million cases in the United States each year. Viruss spread very easily and can stay on surfaces for several days or even weeks. Due to this, it can spread particularly easily in shared enclosed spaces, such as day care centers and nursing homes. Cdc says that viruses become transmissible from the day person starts feeling symptoms to a few days after symptoms ease. Therefore, it is important for person with norovirus to avoid close contact with others for several days once they recognize that they have symptoms. The best defense against norovirus is to avoid catching it. Cdc recommends that people take the following steps to avoid catching the virus or prevent its transmission: washing hands thoroughly after using bathroom or handling diapers and before eating, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that come into contact with vomit or diarrhea, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly and cooking seafood to a safe temperature washing laundry thoroughly refraining from preparing food or caring for other people when sick

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Stomach Flu vs. Food Poisoning

Quick word about each illness. What's colloquially called stomach flu isn't influenza at all but usually norovirus, family of highly contagious viruses that wreak ruthless havoc on your gastrointestinal tract. Norovirus is contracted by touching surface where bug is lurking and then touching your mouth, via close contact with someone already infect, or by eating food contaminated by someone carrying the virus. Under the microscope, norovirus looks fittingly like Death Star. Food Poisoning, on other hand, is umbrella term for any of more than 250 food - borne illnesses researchers have so far identify. They can be caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses; norovirus transmitted through food could be considered a food - borne illness. Others include Salmonella, which you can get from foods like undercooked poultry or meat, and Listeria, which is linked to soft cheeses, raw bean sprouts, and melons, among others.


What Is a Stomach Virus?

If you have a stomach virus, you probably caught it from someone else who was infected with the same thing. Perhaps you share a drink with someone who has a virus or kiss them hello or goodbye. Most stomach bugs are highly contagious even during the incubation period before any symptoms have appeared, so it can be very easy to catch something without realizing it. You can even catch it by touching something that infected person touches if it has any of their saliva, vomit, or stool on it that could contain the virus. There are a few different viruses that cause stomach flu, with the most common being Norovirus and Rotavirus. Norovirus: Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis with up to 21 million cases in the US every year. It is extremely contagious and contact with a minuscule amount of viruses is enough to make a person sick. Because it can remain on surfaces and be resistant to cleaning products, Norovirus spreads rapidly in places like schools, cruise ships, nursing homes and anywhere there are many people in close proximity to each other. Rotavirus: Rotavirus is more common in children and is easily passed from one child to another if they put their hands or toys contaminated with virus in their mouths. The virus can be found in infected persons a few days before they show any symptoms, and up to ten days after symptoms stop. During all of that time, viruses are easily transmitted through hand - to - mouth contact. Adults are less likely to experience symptoms of Rotavirus, or if they do, they will probably be mild, but they can still pass the virus on to others. Different viruses are active during different times of year. For example, in the Northern Hemisphere, both Rotavirus and Norovirus are most prevalent from October to April. However, there are many viruses that cause gastroenteritis, so it is possible to get sick at any time of year.


When to See a Doctor

If you fall victim to either stomach flu or food poisoning, it should resolve itself within a few days. If it doesnt, however, you may need to see a doctor. The most common complication from both stomach flu and food poisoning is dehydration, which can cause serious issues. If you experience signs of dehydration such as decreased or no urination, dry mouth, dizziness and weakness, and you are unable to keep down any liquids, then you should speak to your doctor. In addition, if you experience any of the worsening symptoms described above, including blood in stools, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea lasting more than 72 hours, you should also check in with your doctor. Finally, if you suspect you may have botulism, very rare but very dangerous type of foodborne illness, contact your doctor immediately. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, facial weakness, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, cramps, or paralysis.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Stomach virus vs. food poisoning

Food Poisoning can usually be treated at home. Most cases will resolve themselves within 24 hours. Much of the treatment for food poisoning is the same as Gastroenteritis. The crucial difference,s however, comes from when youre best advised to visit your nearest DOCS Urgent Care or ER. If you suffer from autoimmune disease and contract food poisoning, please seek immediate medical attention. Food Poisoning can be considered life threatening and requires immediate treatment when: blood in stool or urine fever is higher than 101. 5f Diarrhea that lasts longer than 72 hours Severe dehydration, difficulty speaking or seeing repeat vomiting preventing replacement of fluids simplest answer is to be mindful of what you eat, and how you prepare your food. Wash your hands often. Wash hands before cooking or cleaning, and always after handling raw meat. Clean dishes and utensils frequently, especially if they have had contact with raw meat, poultry, fish, or eggs. Use a thermometer when cooking. Its good to be mindful of the temperature you are cooking meat at, to avoid under - cooking. If you are using frozen foods, be sure to cook them for the full recommended time on package. Refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours. Keep your fridge set to around 40F, and your freezer at or below 0F. Drink treated or chlorinated water. Do not drink water from streams or wells that are untreated. Do not use foods that are: outdated, have broken seal, unusual odor, or bad taste.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Transmission

Typically, it takes a few days after exposure for symptoms to appear. However, this can depend on the specific virus. Cases of stomach flu are typically resolved in less than a week. Infections in those with higher risk may last longer. Generally speaking, virus is most likely to spread from the time your symptoms first appear until several days after your symptoms have gone away. Some viruses, such as rotavirus, can be transmitted before your symptoms begin. However, even after your symptoms have cleared up, virus may also still shed on your stool for several weeks. For example, norovirus can be shed on stool for 2 weeks or longer and rotavirus can be found on stool for up to 10 days. Because infection may still be transmitted to others even after youve completely recover, practicing good hand hygiene is vital.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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