What Are Common Symptoms of a Stomach Virus?

common-symptoms-stomach-virus Credit: Leonid Mamchenkov/CC-BY 2.0

Stomach virus symptoms include watery diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and pain in the abdomen, according to Mayo Clinic. Additional symptoms include low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches. Stomach flu is not really a flu at all, but rather is viral gastroenteritis, which is a term that is used to describe inflammatory problems within the gastrointestinal system.

Viral gastroenteritis is usually contracted from exposure to a person with the virus or from ingesting contaminated water or food. Most people make a complete recovery within a few days, but for people with compromised immune systems, elderly people and babies, viral gastroenteritis can be fatal, notes Mayo Clinic.

Self-care is the only treatment for most instances of viral gastroenteritis. Avoiding solid foods for a few hours can help, as can sucking on ice chips or drinking clear broth or soda. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, dairy products and fatty foods can also be beneficial. Getting rest and staying hydrated can help to ease symptoms and speed recovery, advises Mayo Clinic. Add crackers, bananas, chicken and rice or other bland foods that are easy on the stomach after nausea returns. Use medications sparingly, including ibuprofen. For pain, acetaminophen can be taken, although with care since it can be a source of liver toxicity.