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Signs of the stomach flu, or norovirus

Signs of the stomach flu, or norovirus

At some point or another, someone's experience stomach pains, cramping, or abdominal issues leaving you to feel sick to your stomach. Typically, two of the leading causes are a virus, often called the stomach flu, or food poisoning. Symptoms can be very similar, but knowing the difference is not always easy to do. Here’s what you should know about the stomach flu:

What is the Stomach Flu?

The stomach flu is an inaccurate term for a virus and not the same as the traditional influenza virus. Often the norovirus, it’s the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea.

You are contagious the moment symptoms occur until a few days after recovery. It spreads quickly by ingesting contaminated food or drinks or indirect or direct mouth contact with a person or surface that contains the virus.

What Are The Symptoms?

Feeling very sick, with diarrhea and vomiting many times a day, are the most common signs of norovirus. Though younger children who have the influenza virus might also experience vomiting or diarrhea, it is uncommon in adults and does not necessarily mean you have the norovirus, too.

Some other symptoms of the norovirus include:

  • Headaches
  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramps
  • Low-grade fever

How Does it Differ From Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning, like the norovirus, lasts a few hours to several days but differs as it occurs within hours of eating food contaminated with bacteria. Symptoms are generally the same, but you are not contagious. It’s often spotted when someone who shared the same food as you experiences similar symptoms.

Since both causes often subside on their own, it’s essential to rest and get plenty of fluids.

If symptoms persist or last longer than a few days, the Walk-in Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming, is here to help. We can provide you with the personal and quality care you need. Save your spot in line or walk-in today! Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/wic.