Everything You Need to Know About the Stomach Flu

In spite of its name, the stomach flu has nothing to do with the flu. In fact, the stomach flu equals an inflammation in the stomach and intestines triggered by a virus. In the medical field, this condition is recognized as viral gastroenteritis. In the United States alone, roughly 20 million cases of stomach flu have been recorded. However, the greater majority of people are unaware of the fact that this condition is rather common, as well as contagious – yes, it is transmittable!

stomach flu info

Having a shot against this disease is not an option. But, what can you do to protect yourself from it? A range of simple means of precaution includes washing your hands, cooking your food accordingly, and avoiding sharing eating utensils with someone suffering from this condition. Concurrently, it’s never a bad idea to be informed, right? Knowledge does more good than wrong – hence, let’s find out a few important facts about this condition.

Risk factors and causes

The stomach flu is, typically, triggered by a virus. The most common ones are the rotavirus and norovirus. The rotavirus is commonly met in young children and infants. However, the virus may be further spread to adults, through the mouth. The symptoms emerge immediately after being infected with the virus, in a matter of days.

Alternatively, the norovirus is frequently met among adults. Nonetheless, apparently, individuals of any age may end up suffering from it, because it’s contagious. Common places where you can get the virus include cruise ships, schools, daycare centers, nursing homes, and mainly any crowded place.

Apparently, children aged under 5, and elderly people dwelling in nursing homes are more predisposed to this condition. Concurrently, those who have a weak immune system are prone to suffer from it.

Symptoms, signs, and further complications

The most commonly met symptoms entail unexpected loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss, abdominal pain, muscle and joint pain, sweaty and clammy skin, fever, headaches, and diarrhea. They typically last up to 10 days.

Dehydration is a complication that occurs particularly in infants and children, as the infection triggers severe diarrhea. While you may convey this as mainly unimportant, long term dehydration can genuinely lead to death. On that account, patients suffering from this condition require immediate medical attention, if symptoms such as dizziness, dark-colored urine, lethargy, sunken fontanelle, and eyes linger for too long.

Home care and treatment

Because antibiotics aren’t quite effective in fighting viruses, most doctors will hesitate to prescribe them for stomach flu. Alternatively, one should concentrate on counteracting dehydration. Still, in severe cases of stomach flu, a patient might be required to be hospitalized for specialized care.

All in all, when it comes to home care advice, these include drinking a lot of fluids, as a preventive measure against dehydration. Eating small meals is also advisable. This enables the stomach to recover the inflammation. And, of course, getting plenty of rest is never a bad idea, on the contrary – it’s highly ecommended!

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