Stomach Flu Symptoms: What Happens When You Get the Norovirus?

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The norovirus is responsible for the 'stomach flu' Photo by: GrahamColm

The norovirus is responsible for the ‘stomach flu’ Photo by: GrahamColm

How do the symptoms of stomach flu progress?

Viral gastroenteritis, or ‘stomach flu’ as it is commonly referred to, is not anything like influenza. Symptoms of the stomach virus include inflammation of the stomach and intestines – about 20 million cases in the United States per year are caused by the norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is a new type of norovirus going around, called the GII.4 Sydney. This new virus is making millions of people sick worldwide, so if you happen to get this nasty virus, what can you expect from the stomach flu?

Stomach Flu Symptoms: Progression

If you come into contact with the norovirus, then you can expect to become sick within four to 48 hours, reports PubMed Health. The most common symptoms include; abdominal pain and cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. However, you can also have low-grade fever, body aches, chills, and joint stiffness. Generally, within a day or two you will be feeling better, but norovirus symptoms can last up to ten days, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Is it a Stomach Bug, or Food Poisoning?

So you begin to feel that uncomfortable wave of nausea, and then the misery begins. You may be wondering if it was something you ate and not the stomach virus, so how can you tell the difference?

Although you cannot see it, the stomach flu is caused by a virus, while food poisoning can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and even parasites that contaminate your food or water.

Symptoms of food poisoning are very similar to the stomach virus. According to PubMed Health, symptoms can include, nausea, vomiting, watery and sometimes bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. These symptoms often times begin with in two to six hours of eating or drinking and can be even more severe than symptoms of the stomach virus.

Since the symptoms are very similar, the best way to tell if it was possibly food poisoning is to look back at what you ate over the past 24 hours. Under-cooked meat and poultry can result in food poisoning. Not only that, unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, produce, and lunch meat are all foods that can contain bacteria, parasite, or viruses that if not washed and cooked appropriately, can make you sick. If you ate with a group of people, ask to see if they are sick as well. With food poisoning, people who eat the same contaminated food will generally feel the same symptoms.

Click to Read Page Two: Norovirus Symptoms

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© Copyright 2013 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science

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