Monday, July 22, 2024

How Do I Know If I Have Stomach Virus

When Should I Call The Doctor About Stomach Flu In Children

How do I know if my child has a stomach ache or stomach flu? How long do they last?

It’s a good idea to call your pediatrician at the first onset of stomach flu symptoms. It’s especially important to call right away if your child has bloody diarrhea, excessive vomiting or a fever .

Also, contact your pediatrician right away or go to the emergency room if you notice any of these signs of severe dehydration which may need to be treated with intravenous fluids in the hospital:

  • Your child is very lethargic or difficult to wake up
  • Unusual fussiness
  • Crying with few or no tears
  • Infrequent urination or a dry diaper
  • Dizziness

When You Are Contagious

Viral gastroenteritis can be caused by several different viruses. Norovirus is one of the most common. Rotavirus is another common cause that can be very serious for young children. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for rotavirus now so it is not nearly as prevalent as it used to be.

Both of these viruses and others that cause “stomach flu” symptoms are highly contagious:

  • Norovirus: Symptoms appear one to three days after exposure to the virus and you are contagious as soon as your symptoms start. General recommendations are that you can return to daily activities once you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, but you are actually still contagious for three days after you recover and could spread the virus for up to 2 weeks.
  • Rotavirus: You are actually contagious before symptoms even appear and for two weeks after you recover. Typically symptoms start one to two days after exposure.

With both of these viruses, children are often contagious and spread the illness for longer than adults.

Stomach Flu And Children

Children can get dehydrated quickly, so if your child has the stomach flu, it’s important that you look for signs that they are very thirsty or has dry skin or a dry mouth. If you have a baby, look for fewer, drier diapers.

Keep children with gastroenteritis out of day care or school until all symptoms are gone. Check with your doctor before giving your child any medicine. Drugs used to control diarrhea and vomiting aren’t usually given to children younger than 5.

To help prevent rotavirus — the most common cause of stomach flu for children — there are two vaccines that can be given to infants. Talk to your doctor about the vaccines.

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Complications Of Viral Gastroenteritis

In most cases, an episode of viral gastroenteritis clears up completely, without causing any long-term problems or complications. However, in a few cases, there may be complications. The risk of developing complications from viral gastroenteritis is highest in very young children, elderly people and people who have a chronic condition such as diabetes, or a weakened immune system.

When It’s Time To Call A Doctor

What you need to know about the stomach flu

Some symptoms of gastroenteritis are bad enough that you should seek medical attention if you develop them. These include:

  • Persistent vomiting/inability to keep down liquids for more than 24 hours
  • Persistent diarrhea for 24 hours for children or a couple of days for adults
  • Fever 101 degrees F or higher
  • Blood in stool, black stool, pus in stool
  • Nervous system issues including loss of balance or coordination/numbness
  • Severe GI or rectal pain
  • SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI / Science Photo Library / Medical Images
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  • Mike Watson Images / Thinkstock
    • CDC: “About Parasites,” “Parasites,” “Travelers’ Diarrhea.”
    • CDC Yellow Book: Travelers Diarrhea.
    • Dehydration.

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    How To Know If Nausea Is A Sign Of Pregnancy Or Just A Stomach Bug

    It can be tricky to tell if you are pregnant or if you just have a run-of-the-mill stomach bug. While there are symptoms common to both, there are a few signs that can indicate you might be pregnant.Avail NYCoffersfree, self-administered pregnancy testsfor women who may be facing an unexpected pregnancy. If you think you might be pregnant, the only way to know for sure is to take a pregnancy test.

    Common Symptoms that Point to a Stomach Bug

    If you are experiencing general feelings of nausea, fatigue, and vomiting, you may have a stomach bug. Some specific symptoms that point towards an illness andnotpregnancy can be:

    • Diarrhea
    • Motion sickness or inner ear problems
    • Migraines

    If your symptoms do not clear up in a few days,taking a pregnancy testcan rule out whether you are pregnant or just have a stomach virus, like the flu.

    Common Symptoms that Point to Pregnancy

    While early pregnancy is linked to the termmorning sickness, you may feel sick periodically throughout the day. There are some overlapping symptoms between a stomach virus and pregnancy, such as vomiting, fatigue, and nausea. But there are other indicators that might point more towards pregnancy:

    • Excessive salivation
    • A heightened sensitivity to odors
    • A late menstrual cycle
    • Unusual food cravings
    • Tender breasts

    How Is It Treated

    The most important thing to do is to rest the stomach and intestine. You can do this by not eating solid food for a while and drinking only clear liquids. As your symptoms go away, you can start eating soft bland foods that are easy to digest.

    If you have been vomiting a lot, it is best to have only small, frequent sips of liquids. Drinking too much at once, even an ounce or two, may cause more vomiting.

    Your choice of liquids is important. If water is the only liquid you can drink without vomiting, that is OK. However, if you have been vomiting often or for a long time, you must replace the minerals, sodium and potassium, that are lost when you vomit. Ask your healthcare provider what sport drinks or other rehydration drinks could help you replace these minerals.

    Other clear liquids you can drink are weak tea and apple juice. You may also drink soft drinks without caffeine after letting them go flat . It may be easier to keep down liquids that are cold. Avoid liquids that are acidic or caffeinated or have a lot of carbonation. Do not drink milk until you no longer have diarrhea.

    Sometimes treatment includes prescription medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting or diarrhea.

    Nonprescription medicine is available for the treatment of diarrhea and can be very effective. If you use it, make sure you use only the dose recommended on the package. If you have chronic health problems, always check with your healthcare provider before you use any medicine for diarrhea.

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    Eat As Normally As Possible

    It used to be advised to not eat for a while if you had gastroenteritis. However, now it is advised to eat small, light meals if you can. Be guided by your appetite. You may not feel like food and most adults can do without food for a few days. Eat as soon as you are able – but don’t stop drinking. If you do feel like eating, avoid fatty, spicy or heavy food at first. Plain foods such as wholemeal bread and rice are good foods to try eating first.

    Difference In The Duration Of Symptoms

    Treat the Stomach Flu Quickly and Naturally Homemade Pedialyte Recipe

    Symptoms of the stomach flu will improve within a few days while morning sickness usually persists until the second trimester of pregnancy. If you have the stomach flu and happen to be pregnant, you will continue to have morning sickness after the diarrhea and systemic symptoms of the stomach flu subside.

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    How Can Stomach Flu Be Prevented

    Since stomach flu can be caused by multiple factors, getting the flu vaccination alone isnt enough to protect you from gastroenteritis. Children should follow the standard vaccination schedule and get the rotavirus vaccination when indicated. This vaccination can protect your child from getting sick from the rotovirus but not all children can receive this oral vaccination, so please check with your pediatrician before doing so.

    You can take other steps to reduce your risk of getting stomach flu:

    Practice good handwashing

    When youre sick, the virus spreads from anything that comes in contact with virus-infected feces. Good handwashing is vital in stopping the spread. Viruses left on hands can easily spread to surfaces, food and people you touch. Its important to wash your hands well after you go to the bathroom, change a diaper, touch any bathroom surfaces and before you handle food.

    Be careful with food

    You can catch stomach flu from contaminated food or water, or pass it on to someone else. To keep viruses out of your food:

    Clean sick areas

    Clean anything that you may have touched while you were sick with stomach flu. Wash laundry with hot water and dry with high heat. Be sure to use a disinfectant to clean areas where a sick person vomited or had diarrhea.

    Gastroenteritis Versus Food Poisoning

    While gastroenteritis and food poisoning share many of the same symptoms, the two conditions are different.

    Gastroenteritis, or a stomach bug, is most commonly caused by a virus, such as the norovirus, rotavirus, or adenovirus. Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis can begin 4 to 48 hours after exposure.

    Gastroenteritis is contagious and can be contracted through close contact with an infected person, such as by sharing food and utensils, or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces. Washing your hands with soap and water and using disinfectant on contaminated surfaces is the best way to prevent the spread of viral gastroenteritis.

    Food poisoning develops when a person eats food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Symptoms, which can appear within hours of consuming the contaminated food, are similar to gastroenteritis but can be more severe. Signs that someone with food poisoning should seek medical attention include bloody stools, high fever of over 102 degrees F, diarrhea that lasts more than three days, and frequent vomiting that prevents liquids from staying down.

    Most cases of food poisoning typically arent contagious, but some forms can spread through contact with bodily fluid. For example, a person can become infected after touching contaminated feces and then their mouth. Frequent hand-washing is important to keep you and your family healthy.

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    When To Call A Doctor:

    If you notice that your child has any skin discoloration or has shown any kind of respiratory troubles including, though not limited to, difficulty breathing or wheezing, Torres asks that you notify a doctor right away, as severe cases of RSV can further develop into bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

    If your child has a mild case, it is important to remain hydrated, clear any nasal congestion and continue monitoring for more severe symptoms.

    Early Pregnancy Symptoms Other Than Morning Sickness

    How Do I Know If I Have the Stomach Flu or Food Poisoning ...

    Additional early pregnancy symptoms other than the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness include:

    If you are experiencing these symptoms or any combination of these symptoms in addition to nausea and vomiting, there may be a chance you’re pregnant.

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    The Differences In Symptoms

    Does early pregnancy feel like a stomach bug? It can, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms. You may want to take a pregnancy quiz to help discern them. Because the symptoms are similar, it might not be easy for you to tell the difference between the stomach flu and morning sickness.

    Of course, you could be pregnant and have the stomach flu at the same time. If you suspect that you might be pregnant, do a home pregnancy test or see your doctor for one to confirm. Don’t take any herbal or other over-the-counter medicines to treat your symptoms until you are certain you are not pregnant.

    What Is Stomach Flu

    When you have nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, you are sure to be miserable. You may wonder if you have stomach flu or if something else is making you ill. You are likely to feel better soon, but you may never know the answer to that question.

    The illness known as stomach flu isn’t really flu at all. Flu is short for influenza, which is a virus that attacks the respiratory system. A more accurate term for stomach flu is gastroenteritis, which occurs when the linings of the stomach and small intestine become inflamed. Most stomach flu is actually viral gastroenteritis.

    Viral gastroenteritis usually passes fairly quickly and doesn’t have lasting effects. For that reason, health experts don’t recommend that you seek medical care. Usually, you will be more comfortable at home, and you will be less likely to infect others.

    Occasionally, gastrointestinal illnesses are caused by food poisoning instead of a virus. Both cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but there are a few differences between the two. If you have body aches, headache, or fever, you are more likely to have stomach flu. Stomach flu is also more likely to cause projectile vomiting. Food poisoning is more apt to cause bloody diarrhea.

    Sometimes the circumstances around your illness can offer clues. If you’ve recently been around someone with a similar illness, you probably caught a case of stomach flu.

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    Vaccinations For Viral Gastroenteritis

    Viral gastroenteritis in infants can be very serious. To reduce the likelihood of it occurring, it is possible for babies to receive a course of rotavirus vaccinations. These injections are generally considered to be safe and effective against most strains of rotavirus and form part of the recommended infant vaccination schedule in some countries.

    How Will I Know If My Kid Contracts Covid

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    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalization rates due to COVID-19 are significantly lower in children than rates in adults with the illness. Children may have many symptoms or could be asymptomatic. Either way, if a child tests positive for COVID-19, they must still be cautious said Dr. Dane Snyder, the chief of primary care pediatrics at Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, as one of the biggest risk factors is that it could spread to someone else who has much higher risk.

    The CDC stresses that it is still possible for kids to contract a severe case of COVID-19 and become hospitalized. Snyder tells parents to look out for your childs loss of taste or smell, as that is the biggest difference between the flu and COVID-19. He also warned parents to monitor symptoms, as there is a unique syndrome with children called MIS that happens typically a few weeks after a child contracts COVID.

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    Is It Gastroenteritis The Flu Or Something Else

    This common stomach bug can be easily mistaken for other medical problems.

    Gastroenteritis is the second most common sickness in the United States.

    Chances are, if youve had a bad bout of diarrhea or vomiting due to a virus, parasite, or bacteria, youve experienced gastroenteritis.

    Doctors usually diagnose the condition based on your symptoms or the results of a stool test. That said, gastroenteritis can look like other medical conditions, and other illnesses may be mistaken for gastroenteritis.

    When To Go To Urgent Care For Food Poisoning Vs Er

    Most of the time, it’s fine to pick urgent care if you want an opinion after coming down with food poisoning or a stomach bug. As long as youre not in potentially life-threatening danger, urgent care providers will be able to offer the medical opinion you need.

    That said, if it does seem serious, a trip to the ER may be in order. So, how do you know if food poisoning or a stomach virus is bad enough to warrant a hospital visit? If you’re experiencing one of the symptoms below, seek medical emergency attention immediately:

    • Blood in stool or vomit
    • Green or yellow colored vomit
    • Fever above 101°F
    • Severe and/or constant pain in the abdomen
    • Passing out
    • Trouble swallowing or breathing

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    Treating A Stomach Bug

    Dehydration may become a serious concern for people who have the stomach virus. Watch for the symptoms of dehydration. You should seek medical attention if any of these symptoms occur.

    Make sure you get plenty of fluids. Adults can drink fluids such as Gatorade with electrolytes, and children can also drink fluid replacement solutions such as Pedialyte. These drinks coupled with water will help restore the bodys hydration balance. For best results, drink a few sips every half hour to an hour.

    Dont drink sugary drinks like Kool-Aid or sodas, as these liquids dont replace lost electrolytes. Taking in ice chips or drinking plain water is another good option for staying hydrated.

    Once you feel ready to eat again, give your stomach a break by slowly introducing bland foods into your diet. These may include:

    • cereals
    • symptoms of dehydration, including fatigue and extreme thirst
    • symptoms of botulism
    • symptoms of food poisoning after visiting a developing country

    If you have a mild case of food poisoning, it may respond well to rest and fever-reducing medications. If you have a severe case, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for intravenous fluid hydration. If you have severe bacterial food poisoning, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.

    Your doctor will review your symptoms and run tests to determine the best course of action.

    When To See A Healthcare Provider


    If you have a fever greater than 101.3 F degrees for more than 24 hours, cannot keep liquids down for more than 24 hours, or show signs of dehydration, call your healthcare provider. They can prescribe medications to and may recommend treatment with intravenous fluids.

    Seek immediate medical attention for the following symptoms:

    • Vomiting blood
    • Bloody or black, tar-like stools
    • Large amounts of mucus in the stool
    • Confusion
    • Feeling lightheaded or fainting when standing
    • Severe abdominal pain
    • Persistent vomiting lasting two days or longer
    • Diarrhea that lasts more than three days

    In addition, children with the following symptoms should be seen immediately:

    • Unusually sleepy or difficult to wake up
    • Lethargy or severe irritability
    • Fever of 102 degrees F or higher

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