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What are serious cases of stomach flu?

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In rare cases, people with stomach flu need to be hospitalized, usually because of dehydration. In adults, dehydration can cause extreme thirst, decreased urination, dark urine, dry skin, fatigue, and dizziness. In babies and young children, dehydration can cause:

Anyone with signs of dehydration needs medical help right away.

  • Crying without tears
  • Going 3 hours or more without a wet diaper
  • Fever
  • Dry tongue and mouth
  • Extreme crankiness
  • Sunken fontanel, the soft spot on the top of a baby's head
  • Sunken cheeks or eyes

From: Diarrhea and the Stomach Flu WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor: "Vomiting and Diarrhea in Children," "BRAT Diet."

American College of Gastroenterology: "Diarrheal Diseases."

CDC: "Viral Gastroenteritis," "Myths about Seasonal Influenza and Influenza Vaccines," "Updated Norovirus Outbreak Management and Disease Prevention Guidelines."

The Cochrane Library: "Hand washing for preventing diarrhea."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Viral Gastroenteritis," "Diarrhea."

National Library of Medicine Medline Plus: "Diarrhea."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "What Should You Eat When You Have Diarrhea?"

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 7, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor: "Vomiting and Diarrhea in Children," "BRAT Diet."

American College of Gastroenterology: "Diarrheal Diseases."

CDC: "Viral Gastroenteritis," "Myths about Seasonal Influenza and Influenza Vaccines," "Updated Norovirus Outbreak Management and Disease Prevention Guidelines."

The Cochrane Library: "Hand washing for preventing diarrhea."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Viral Gastroenteritis," "Diarrhea."

National Library of Medicine Medline Plus: "Diarrhea."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "What Should You Eat When You Have Diarrhea?"

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 7, 2019

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