Posted by: Chelsea Hampton | January 18, 2013

Influenza and Stomach Flu – Is there a Difference?

Yes, there is a difference between the flu and the digestive ailment referred to as “stomach flu.” Influenza, which is caused by a variety of mutating viruses, typically affects the respiratory system. Stomach flu, however, is actually gastroenteritis, which is different from influenza. Read on for more information, symptomology, and tips for preventing these bugs!

News in Agriculture

Influenza

Influenza is caused by a multitude of viruses which affect the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza viruses are constantly changing and producing new strains, which is why new vaccines have to be made each year for flu season. Anything expelling droplets, such as a cough or sneeze, can quickly spread flu viruses. Flu symptoms may include the following:

– Fever over 100º F

– Body aches/ headache

– Nasal congestion

– Cough

– Sore throat

– Fatigue

– Chills and sweats

Nausea may be present as well. The flu can be especially aggravating for individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

stomach cartoon

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis affects the stomach and intestines. There are multiple viruses which cause gastroenteritis including noroviruses, rotaviruses, adenoviruses, and astroviruses. Adults are commonly affected by noroviruses, whereas rotaviruses are common among children. Symptoms of gastroenteritis can include the following:

– Watery diarrhea

– Nausea and/or vomiting

– Abdominal cramps/aching

– Low-grade fever

– Body aches/ headache

 

Tips for Preventing Illness

Wash hands frequently! And always carry hand sanitizer.

Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, chap stick, etc. Germs spread easily through these routes.

– Avoid spreading illness by staying home when sick.

– Keep distance from individuals who are sick.

– Disinfect occupied areas such as home and office with cleaners that are also anti-viral.

Information obtained and adapted from the following sources:

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases:

Viral Gastroenteritis. Accessed at:  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/faq.htm.

– Mayo Clinic: Health Information: Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Accessed at:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/viral-gastroenteritis/DS00085.

– National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus: Flu. Accessed at:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000080.htm.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

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