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What is the stomach flu?

Stomach flu, which is medically referred to as viral gastroenteritis, is a viral infection that affects the intestines. It causes an inflammation of the intestinal tract. One of the most common illnesses in the United States, viral gastroenteritis usually presents with diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal cramps. Viral gastroenteritis is a contagious ailment that may be contracted through contaminated foods or from an infected person.

Some people use the term “stomach flu” to mean diseases other than influenza that have symptoms such as include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms can be caused by many different viruses, bacteria or even parasites. While vomiting, diarrhea, and being nauseous or “sick to your stomach” can sometimes be related to the flumore commonly in children than adultsthese problems are rarely the main symptoms of influenza, or “the flu.” The flu is a respiratory disease and not a stomach or intestinal disease.

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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.