Food Poisoning vs Stomach Flu

Food poisoning and stomach flu have much in common, but they’re in fact two kinds of illnesses.

Q:

So, what’s the difference between food poisoning and stomach flu?

A:

Difference in Definition:

Food poisoning is a foodborne illness caused by eating contaminated food, while stomach flu is a digestive disease caused by viral infection.

Difference in Symptoms:

Symptoms of both include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever. But there’re still some differences.

  • For food poisoning, some cases may be symptom-free.
  • In severe cases of food poisoning, bloating, gas, slurred speech, and blurred vision may occur.
  • Diarrhea is often bloody in the case of food poisoning, and non-bloody in the case of stomach flu.

Difference in Duration:

Food poisoning can be mild and only last for an hour. It can also be severe and last for weeks. As to stomach flu, it usually lasts for a few days, occasionally for ten days.

Difference in Causes:

Food poisoning is caused by eating food contaminated by harmful organisms: viruses, bacteria, and parasites, while stomach flu is caused by certain viruses.

Difference in Ways of Developing:

Food poisoning is developed by eating contaminated food, while stomach flu is developed through close contact with infected persons, as well as by eating contaminated food.

Difference in Risk Factors:

  • Pregnant women are more susceptible to food poisoning.
  • People who gather in close quarters are more likely to get stomach flu.

Difference in Peak Time:

Chances of getting food poisoning are higher in the summer, while those of getting stomach flu are higher in late winter and early spring.

Difference in Treatment:

Most often, food poisoning is mild and needs no treatment, while stomach flu is troublesome and professional help is necessary.

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