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Is influenza or the "flu" the same as the stomach flu?

ANSWER

Sometimes people mistake symptoms of stomach flu, or gastroenteritis, for the viral infection we commonly call "flu." But they're not the same.

Stomach flu happens when your stomach and intestines (also called the gastrointestinal or GI tract) are inflamed and irritated. Causes range from bacteria, viruses, and parasites to food reactions and unclean water.

From: Is It a Stomach Flu or Influenza? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Cary G. Sauer, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta. CDC: "Viral Gastroenteritis." MedicineNet: "Gastroenteritis." American Academy of Family Physicians: "Flu Facts." Medline Plus: "Gastroenteritis."



Am Fam Physician: "Common Intestinal Parasites."

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 11, 2017

SOURCES:

Cary G. Sauer, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta. CDC: "Viral Gastroenteritis." MedicineNet: "Gastroenteritis." American Academy of Family Physicians: "Flu Facts." Medline Plus: "Gastroenteritis."



Am Fam Physician: "Common Intestinal Parasites."

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 11, 2017

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How is the flu different from the stomach flu?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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