How common is stomach flu?

Dr. Elif E. Oker, MD
Medical Toxicology

Stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis, is very common. The incidence of gastroenteritis varies with the cause.  It is one of the most common infections worldwide. 

Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and intestines. It is most commonly caused by viruses but can also be caused by bacteria or parasites.

Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, pain and/or cramps.  Sometimes stomach flu is accompanied by fever, a sense of feeling ill and chills.

Treatment depends on the suspected cause and focuses on keeping the patient well hydrated.  


Stomach flu, or viral gastroenteritis, is one of the most common illnesses in the world and leads to millions of bouts of diarrhea annually. People of all ages, from all over the world, contract the stomach flu each year. In the United States, most people who become infected recover within a few days, but in developing countries the common stomach flu can be deadly.

Continue Learning about Digestive Diseases

Digestive Diseases

Digestive diseases, also known as gastrointestinal diseases, are disorders that affect your esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. The symptoms of digestive diseases vary widely depending on which part of your digestiv...

e system is affected. Generally symptoms can be blood in your stool, a change in bowel habits, pain, weight loss or heartburn that is not relieved by antacids. See you doctor if you have any of these signs of digestive disease.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.