Stomach Bug or the Flu?

It’s flu season and chances are you know someone who has had the flu already. But that isn’t the only thing making the rounds this time of year. Norovirus, or the stomach flu, is also circulating. The stomach flu is not the same thing as the flu! These viruses are not the same and you can catch both in the same season.

The stomach flu is a gastrointestinal virus, that causes low grade fever, vomiting, diarrhea with cramping, chills and body aches. A stomach bug such as this will usually only last 2-3 days and then you’ll be good as new.

The flu on the other hand is a bit more serious. The seasonal flu is a respiratory virus, meaning it gives you the congestion, cough, sore throat along with headache, body aches, and fever of up to 104°. Vomiting and diarrhea are not usually associated with the flu. the flu can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days, and you may still feel bad for a while after.

There are some things you can do to minimize your changes of catching either of these bugs this year. Always wash your hands before preparing food, after using the restroom, after changing diapers, and anytime you cough or sneeze. Wipe down any hard surfaces that people come into frequent contact with such as door handles and light switches. You should also get a flu shot! While the flu shot will only prevent you from getting the flu and you may still catch the stomach bug, it is definitely worth it!

Unfortunately since both of these bugs are viruses, antibiotics will not do any good. The best thing you can do is to stay hydrated, and try to rest as much as possible. This will be what gets you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

If you are experiencing symptoms and believe you need to see a medical provider, you can set an appointment at PDCHC by calling 502-77-4401

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