Food Poisoning vs Stomach Flu

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


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


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.

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