Stomach Flu

"Is the Stomach Flu a Virus?"

Gastroenteritis is most commonly referred to as the 'stomach flu' when in fact it is not caused by an influenza virus at all.   None the less, symptoms of the stomach flu usually include vomiting or diarrhea or both.

Be aware that the stomach flu is not caused by a bacteria, or a parasite, or by medication, but is caused by a virus.  But only your doctor can determine if your symptoms are in fact due to thestomach flu. More symptoms of the stomach flu also include a headache, a fever, and abdominal cramps.  Most of the time the symptoms start one to two days following getting thestomach flu and may last up to ten days. 

For the most part the stomach flu is not a life threatening illness. Yes it most certainly is uncomfortable and unpleasant but most people recover without any long-term problems.  But gastroenteritis is a serious problem -- especially for people who are unable to replace the fluids that they have lost by being sick.  People who are unable to care for themselves such as infants and the elderly are more susceptible for dehydration from extreme loss of liquids. 

And while many think that the stomach flu is not contagious, it is. Most times people come down with the stomach flu because the ate some contaminated food or beverage, but they are contagious if you come in close contact with some who has the stomach flu. 

If food is prepared by someone who has the stomach flu, then you too may be at risk for getting the stomach flu.  People who are experiencing symptoms of the stomach flu should remember to wash their hands after every bathroom use.

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