Are viral gastrointestinal infections a form of influenza?

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.
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.

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.