Stomach Flu - Symptoms & Remedies

Stomach flu, also called gastroenteritis, is an intestinal viral infection, usually through contact with an infected person or by ingesting contaminated food or water. The viral infection is sometimes combined with bacteria infection.


The symptoms of stomach flu are mainly about digestive tract – stomach, intestines, unlike a real flu(influenza) which only affects the respiratory system – throat, trachea, lung. Patients of stomach flu usually experience:

  • Watery, usually nonbloody diarrhea — bloody diarrhea usually means you have a different, more severe infection
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Occasional muscle aches or headache
  • Low-grade fever

The symptoms may last from 1 day to 10 days, depending on the degree of infection and the patients’ health condition.


A number of viruses can cause gastroenteritis, two of them are most common.

  • Noroviruses

Noroviruses can affect both children and adults. Norovirus is easy to spread through food and water in places where people gather, for example the kindergraden, school and restaurrant.

  • Rotavirus

Worldwide, this is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, who are usually infected when they put their fingers or other objects contaminated with the virus into their mouths.


Stomach flu is usually most severe in infants and young children than in adults. Adults infected may not have symptoms, but they can pass the virus to others.

Infants & children

If your baby has unusual vomitting or one of the below symptoms, you should call your Pediatrician right away.

  • has vomiting that lasts more than several hours
  • has a fever of 102 F (38.9 C) or higher
  • hasn’t had a wet diaper in six hours, or seems dehydrated (unusually less urine)
  • has bloody stools or severe diarrhea
  • has a sunken soft spot (fontanel) on the top of his or her head
  • has a dry mouth or cries without tears, being very irritable
  • is unusually sleepy, drowsy or unresponsive


If you have below symtoms, please get help from your doctor.

  • can’t take liquids for 24 hours, being dehydrated
  • have vomiting for more than two days
  • vomiting blood
  • blood in stool
  • a fever above 104 F (40 C)

There’s no specific treatment for viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics aren’t effective against virus. It takes about a week to recover. Take a good rest will help with the recovery. The key is to keep hydrated, including water, essential salts and minerals.


Prevention is especially important in stomach flu, including vaccines for certain viruses, washing hands, seperate personal items at home.




* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.