The most common symptoms of stomach flu are stomach pain and cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to WebMD. Fever, headache and swollen glands are also normal symptoms.Continue Reading
If vomiting persists for more than two days, vomit or stool contains blood, a fever surpasses 104 degrees Fahrenheit or there are signs of dehydration, medical attention should be sought, advises the Mayo Clinic. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, infrequent urination, urine that is deep yellow, weakness, dizziness and feeling lightheaded.
Stomach flu is also called gastroenteritis, and it is different from influenza, reports Brown University. Viruses and bacteria that cause gastroenteritis are contracted orally through contact with the secretions of infected people, from sharing food or drinks, or from consuming contaminated food. Symptoms usually only last between one and three days, but it can take up to two weeks for bowel function to return to normal.
Symptoms are treated by drinking plenty of clear fluids, eating bland foods when nausea subsides, avoiding foods that contain dairy or wheat, and getting plenty of rest, says Prevention. To avoid contracting gastroenteritis, it is recommended to not share food or drinks, wash hands frequently with soap, cook food thoroughly, refrigerate leftovers within two hours, and wash countertops, cutting boards and utensils after preparing food to prevent cross-contamination.Learn more about Cold & Flu