Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Is The Stomach Flu Going Around

What Foods Are Recommended To Eat When You Have The Stomach Flu

What’s Going Around: Influenza and stomach flu

Some health care professionals suggest a special diet for the gastroenteritis, especially for viral and/or bacterial infections in children. First and foremost is adequate fluid rehydration to prevent dehydration.

The diet frequently suggested is termed the “BRAT” diet. This diet consists of foods that are not usually irritating but soothing for the gastrointestinal tract. The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Although some doctors think this diet may not markedly benefit patients, others recommend it for both adults and children for a day or two to make the transition from the resolving symptoms of acute gastroenteritis to the patient’s previously normal diet.

So Youre Feeling Terrible But Why Knowing The Reason For Your Upset Stomach Is The First Step To Feeling Better A Nurse Explains The Difference Between Food Poisoning And A Stomach Bug

Its a question no one ever wants to have to ask: Is this food poisoning or a stomach bug? Your stomachs starting to feel uneasy, but where did it come from? Either way, food poisoning and stomach bugs are miserable at best and dangerous at worst.

Both types of upset stomach can feel similar, but they have a few key differences to help you know what is going on, and more importantly, when youre going to get some relief.

Do You Think You Have The Stomach Flu Or A Stomach Bug

It is probably norovirus, a common virus that is not related to the flu. Norovirus is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea, and foodborne illness.

  • diarrhea
  • body aches

Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines. This is called acute gastroenteritis.

A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.

If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill, and vomit or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.

Symptoms of dehydration include:
  • dry mouth and throat
  • feeling dizzy when standing up

Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

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How Do You Know If An Upset Stomach Is A Covid Symptom

When you or your kids throw up or have diarrhea, itâs easy to brush it off as a typical stomach bug or just something you ate. After all, norovirus is highly contagious and extremely common, according to the Centers For Disease Control. The CDC website states that ânorovirus is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea, and foodborne illness.â

As it turns out, a Covid test is the only way to determine if that pesky âstomach bugâ is actually a BA.2 infection. Plus, with and a vaccine for the under 5 age group still in the works, community spread is still a looming concern.

âThis variant is not necessarily any more severe than Omicron, but does appear to be more contagious,â Dr. Denise Scott, a pediatrician and pediatric endocrinologist, tells Romper via email. âChildren have been one of the hardest hit groups. The Covid vaccine does offer protection, yet children remain the least vaccinated group and those under 5 years of age have not yet been approved for the vaccine.â

When To Call Your Doctor

Stomach virus spreads around St. Louis

Food poisoning and viral gastroenteritis can become severe enough to require medical attention. However, Dr. Thomas says, in most cases, people can effectively manage either condition with proper rest, hydration and at-home medical treatment. But call your doctor if youre unsure whats causing your symptoms or if youre having high or persistent fevers.

Also keep in mind that other health issues can mimic the symptoms of viral gastroenteritis or food poisoning. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if you experience any of the following:

  • Bloody stool or bloody vomit
  • Inability to keep any fluids down
  • Diarrhea lasting more than three days
  • Fever above 104 degrees
  • Severe abdominal pain

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How Can I Avoid Noroviruses

  • Wash hands with soap and water often, especially after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.
  • Remind children to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating. This is especially important while they are ill.
  • Immediately clean up vomit and stool and anything they touch:
  • Disinfect surfaces with a germ-killing cleaner .
  • Wash clothing in hot soapy water.
  • Throw away cleaning rags in sealed plastic bags.
  • Always wash your hands after cleaning.

Stomach Flu And Food Poisoning Defined

Stomach flu and stomach bug are informal terms for viral gastroenteritis, a sickness in which a viral infection causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. The term stomach flu can be misleading, says UH internal medicine specialist Christopher Thomas, DO, because the illness in not caused by influenza, which attacks the respiratory system.

Though it shares a number of symptoms with viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning is a condition caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water. In fact, food poisoning is an umbrella term for any of the more than 250 foodborne/waterborne illnesses researchers have identified to date.

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Norovirus And Stomach Bugs Outbreak:

the term stomach flu can be misleading, says uh internal medicine specialist christopher thomas, do, because the illness in not. A woman is wasting away after what doctors thought was a stomach bug turned out to be something far more serious. Rico aragon, a primary care physician said, whats happened is weve become more careful.

How Can I Prevent The Spread Of Norovirus

Whats Going Around: Flu, stomach viruses take toll on Metro Detroiters this week
  • Practice proper hand hygiene:
  • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating or preparing food.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be a helpful addition to hand washing, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water. See CDC’s Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives.
  • Take care in the kitchen.
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
  • Don’t prepare food while infected. People who are infected with norovirus should not prepare food for others while they have symptoms and for 3 days after they recover from their illness.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or fecal matter.
  • Handle soiled items carefully, without agitating them, to avoid spreading virus.
  • Wash items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dry.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces, especially after an episode of vomiting or diarrhea, with a solution of bleach and water. Some recommended strengths are:
  • 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water for stainless steel, food/mouth contact items, and toys.
  • 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water for non-porous surfaces such as tile floors, counter-tops, sinks, and toilets.
  • 1½ cups of bleach per gallon of water for pourous surfaces such as wooden floors.
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    ‘stomach Flu’ On The Rise Again In Us 5 Things To Know About Noroviruses

    While COVID-19 cases continue to drop in the U.S., outbreaks of another virusthe stomach fluare ramping up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

    This comes amid easing virus restrictions nationwide. For most of the U.S., roughly 99.5%, it isn’t recommended to wear a mask indoors in public because of low or medium COVID-19 Community Level as of March 31, the CDC says.

    Meanwhile, 448 norovirus outbreaks were reported in the U.S. from Aug. 1, 2021, to March 5, 2022, according to the agency. In comparison, that’s 370 more outbreaks than reported from Aug. 1, 2020, to March 5, 2021, when 78 stomach virus outbreaks were seen.

    With people returning to offices and schoolstwo of the most common spots for norovirus outbreakscases of the stomach flu are getting closer to the numbers reported before the pandemic, according to NBC News.

    Dr. Robert Atmar, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told the outlet that the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions is likely connected to the rise in norovirus infections.

    “Battling norovirus while nursing my sick daughter. Worrying when my son goes to school if he will get COVID . anxiety levels are reaching breaking point,” British art historian Dr. Janina Ramirez wrote April 5 on Twitter. The norovirus “is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages,” according to the Broxbourne Council.

    Here’s what to know about the stomach flu:

    What are noroviruses?

    How contagious are noroviruses?

    What Causes The Stomach Bug

    Several different viruses may cause the stomach bug. Viruses that most frequently cause it include norovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus.

    The norovirus alone causes up to 21 million cases of the stomach bug in the United States each year. Other viruses such as astroviruses can also cause this condition.

    Stomach bug caused by a rotavirus or norovirus infection is highly contagious. In the United States, infection most commonly occurs between October and April. The most common way to contract the virus is from direct contact with someone who is sick.

    You can also contract the virus from contact with something someone infected has touched that contains their stool, saliva, or vomit substance with the virus in it.

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    How Do I Know If Its Food Poisoning Or A Stomach Virus

    If you are experiencing a severe upset stomach, but arent sure whether its the stomach flu or food poisoning, there are a few ways you can tell the difference.


    • Both food poisoning and the stomach virus can be caused by a virus. However, food poisoning can also be caused by bacteria and parasites.

    Incubation Period

    • For people that have contracted the stomach virus, or viral gastroenteritis, it may take a while for symptoms to present themselves, with infected individuals often not exhibiting any issues until 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus.
    • For people with food poisoning, they often experience symptoms as soon as 2-6 hours after eating contaminated food.


    • If you have a stomach virus, you are likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms:
    • Diarrhea
    • Maintain a clean kitchen
    • Check the expiration dates before buying food

    During the holiday season, it is especially important that you take care of what you eat at other peoples homes. Not everyone has the same standards of kitchen hygiene as you, so if something looks off with the food, its probably best not to eat it.

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    Comparing Stomach Flu And Food Poisoning


    Lets look at this table that compares and contrasts stomach flu with food poisoning:

    Stomach Flu
    Cough, sore throat, or runny nose Maybe present
    3. Large catering events4. Travellers Reheated leftover food that may have been contaminated or left out in room temperature for too long

    Overall, food poisoning happens much faster than stomach flu, and resolves faster too. With food poisoning, the toxins are already in the food. Bacteria consumes the food and makes the toxins long before you eat it. The toxin starts working as soon as it is absorbed in your stomach.

    On the other hand, the stomach flu virus doesnt spoil the food. Food will taste, smell, and feel normal when you eat it. The virus is not active until it gets inside your body. It needs time to invade your cells and use your protein to multiply its genetic material.

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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.

    Is It Stomach Bug Stomach Flu Or Food Poisoning

    Your stomach is in knots as another wave of nausea strikes, sending you to the bathroom for the third time in an hour. But whats the cause? Two likely culprits are stomach bug and food poisoning. But how does stomach flu differ from food poisoning? Understanding the difference may lead to feeling better sooner and even prevent the illness from occurring in the first place.

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    Norovirus Spreads Very Easily And Quickly In Different Ways

    You can get norovirus by accidentally getting tiny particles of feces or vomit from an infected person in your mouth.

    This can happen if you

    • eat food or drink liquids that are contaminated with norovirus,
    • touch surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then put your fingers in your mouth, or
    • have direct contact with someone who is infected with norovirus, such as by caring for them or sharing food or eating utensils with them.

    If you get norovirus illness, you can shed billions of norovirus particles that you cant see without a microscope. Only a few norovirus particles can make other people sick. You are most contagious

    • when you have symptoms of norovirus illness, especially vomiting, and
    • during the first few days after you recover from norovirus illness.

    However, studies have shown that you can still spread norovirus for two weeks or more after you feel better.

    Norovirus can easily contaminate food and water because it only takes a very small amount of virus particles to make you sick. Food and water can get contaminated with norovirus in many ways, including when:

    Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:

    What’s going around: Influenza, stomach virus, RSV
    • you’re worried about a baby under 12 months
    • your child stops breast or bottle feeding while they’re ill
    • a child under 5 years has signs of dehydration such as fewer wet nappies
    • you or your child still have signs of dehydration after using oral rehydration sachets
    • you or your child keep being sick and cannot keep fluid down
    • you or your child have bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from the bottom
    • you or your child have diarrhoea for more than 7 days or vomiting for more than 2 days

    111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

    Go to or call 111.

    A GP may be able to help you.

    Ask a GP surgery for an urgent appointment.

    Check with the GP surgery before going in. A GP may speak to you on the phone.

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    No Time To Let Your Guard Down: Stomach Bug Strikes As Covid Declines

    Ulysses Wu, MD

    Just when we seemed to catch a break with COVID-19 on the decline, Hartford HealthCare doctors are seeing an uptick in flu, common cold and stomach bugs, said HHC Director of Infectious Disease Ulysses Wu.

    A stomach bug going around now in Connecticut is of particular concern, causing severe vomiting and diarrhea in people for several days. While those unlucky enough to catch it may refer to it as a stomach bug or the stomach flu, what they are actually experiencing is probably gastroenteritis the second most common illness in the U.S., according to the National Library of Medicine.

    Gastroenteritis, which causes the stomach and intestines to be inflamed, is caused by a viral infection, which means there is no real treatment. And unlike the rise in common cold and flu, there is no connection between the lessoning of COVID restrictions like masking and the spike in cases, because it is not a respiratory disease, Dr. Wu said. But it is highly contagious and spreads from person to person through contact or surfaces, and if a person becomes dehydrated it can be deadly.

    According to WebMD:

    What are the Symptoms of Gastroenteritis?

    How does Gastroenteritis spread?

    • Contact with someone who has the virus
    • Contaminated food or water
    • Unwashed hands after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper

    How do you prevent Gastroenteritis?

    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Dont cook for other people
    • Make sure to wash your laundry thoroughly.

    How do you treat Gastroenteritis?

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