Stomach bug is an infectious disease that is also known as stomach flu, gastric flu, gastro, stomach virus or gastroenteritis.
The first thing you need to know is that stomach flu is actually not related to that flu for which we are advised to receive a vaccine each year. Those flu vaccines are for influenza, and there are no vaccines for the stomach flu.
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However, like I said, gastroenteritis is an infectious disease that is caused most of the times by viruses. It can also be caused by parasites, bacteria and toxins.
Viruses are the primary cause of stomach flu, especially rotavirus, but also the bacteria E. coli and Campylobacter. However, this disease can be caused by many other infectious agents.
The stomach virus is a mild virus that affects your stomach and the small intestine causing inflammation and irritation in those areas. And because they’re sore and inflamed, it’s quite hard to keeping anything down.
Stomach Flu Fighter
Usually brief in nature, in most cases it lasts one to three days. After this period, the patient starts to recover, and that’s why stomach flu is also called 24 hours flu. During the infection, the person usually suffers from severe stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea, many times causing dehydration and weakness.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you get severely dehydrated, you’re losing vital electrolytes like sodium and other minerals. In this case, it’s best to go to the hospital for re-hydration, as this is the primary treatment for gastric flu.
The signs and symptoms of the stomach bug can start suddenly, or they can develop over a period of hours. Other possible symptoms include nausea, muscle pains, low grade fever and chills, headaches and loss of appetite.
If you’re wondering if the stomach flu is contagious, the definitive answer is yes! This disease easily spreads through contact with an infected person (like shaking hands or kissing), because the body fluids of that person contain the virus. And sometimes these people may have the virus even if they currently have no symptoms whatsoever!
We can also catch the virus if we share drinks, food or eating tools. If you think about it, it’s very easy to get the virus, because there’s lots of transmission opportunities each and every day.
So, you can say that stomach bug is a disease that occurs and spreads easily especially where people are not conscious about their personal hygiene. And that includes developed countries too!
The best way to prevent the flu is to wash your hand often! The stomach virus could be anywhere, so keep your hands clean all the time!
In the United Stated gastroenteritis usually occurs during winter, but it can happen anytime, especially in crowded places like nursing homes, schools, day care centers, camps, and so on.
And because it can have serious side effects, particularly in infants, children and the elderly, I’m sure you’re wondering: can the stomach bug be avoided? Yes and no. If you have a strong immune system, the virus might not get to you!
To boost your immune system, eat as many fresh fruits and veggies as possible and also consume garlic and vitamin C, even in supplement form. These can really help you battle with the stomach virus.
And if it still catches you, just monitor your symptoms carefully and don’t avoid seeking medical attention if they’re getting worse.
Come back often, as we will soon add more articles about stomach bug.