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Are viral gastrointestinal infections a form of influenza?

Although viral gastrointestinal infections are commonly called the stomach flu, they are their own disease. There is no link between the viruses that cause gastroenteritis and the influenza virus. Furthermore, the viruses affect the intestinal tract as well as the stomach.
What many refer to as “stomach flu” is not influenza. Gastrointestinal illness can be caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses, though not the same ones that result in the flu. While influenza can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea — mostly in children — it is primarily a respiratory illness. The main symptoms of the seasonal flu include fever, cough, muscle aches and fatigue, and the illness can last up to two weeks.

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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.