It always seems like this time of year brings the stomach flu along with all of the other viruses floating around in public. But there are simple things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick, and there are natural and healthy ways to ensure you feel better faster if you do come down with this nasty bug.
What is the stomach flu?
The stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis, is an infection of the intestines. The viruses responsible for this illness are often the norovirus and the rotavirus. The symptoms of the stomach flu include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, a low-grade fever, and abdominal pain. Usually, these symptoms subside in less than two days or even 24 hours in some cases. The Mayo Clinic suggests contacting a doctor if vomiting has persisted for more than two days, there’s bloody diarrhea, you have vomited blood, or have a fever about 104. All of these can be signs of a more severe infection, one not caused by the norovirus or rotavirus.
Noroviruses: Both children and adults are affected by noroviruses, the most common cause of foodborne illness worldwide. Norovirus infection can sweep through families and communities. It’s especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces. In most cases, you pick up the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person transmission also is possible.
Rotavirus: Worldwide, this is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, who are usually infected when they put their fingers or other objects contaminated with the virus into their mouths. The infection is most severe in infants and young children. Adults infected with rotavirus may not have symptoms, but can still spread the illness — of particular concern in institutional settings because infected adults unknowingly can pass the virus to others.
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