How common is stomach flu?

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.

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.  


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