What’s the Difference Between the Stomach Flu and Influenza
Whether it's colds or flu, this is the season that people get sick more than any other time of the year.
Being sick is never an enjoyable experience. You're stuck inside, you have to miss work and you feel horrible. But, is it influenza or is it the stomach flu?
Influenza, or 'the flu" is most common. It's caused by the influenza virus and mainly affects upper respiratory. Symptoms can include a cough, congestion, body aches, fever, and fatigue. The flu can be very serious and is one of the top causes of death in the United States when combined with pneumonia. Colorado is one of the states that has been hard hit by the flu this season.
The stomach flu is very different, and rates much higher on the unpleasant scale than your traditional flu. Symptoms of the stomach flu include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and cramps, and possible fever. The vomiting may only last 24 hours, but the diarrhea can go on for several days. The stomach flu is brought on by norovirus, rotavirus, or a food-borne bacteria.
Having the stomach flu may feel worse, but it's generally not as serious as influenza. Neither is as much fun as going to the circus.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine each year, and flu shots are available through Mesa County Public Health. It's not too late to take action.