Flu Symptoms vs. Food Poisoning – Thelocalreport.in

(NEXSTAR) – While respiratory illnesses are getting a lot of attention right now (and for good reason), you may find yourself afflicted with a different problem: a stomach virus.

Gastroenteritis, often called the stomach flu, is very common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with millions of cases reported each year. We also routinely hear warnings of outbreaks of listeria, E. coli, and salmonella, all of which can cause food poisoning.

How can you tell them apart?

The first big difference is that stomach flu is caused by a virus (norovirus, not influenza), while food poisoning is caused by bacteria in food that has not been properly cooked or refrigerated. But that’s not something that helps you tell the difference the moment you start to feel bad.

The symptoms are also confusingly similar: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever and stomach pain are associated with both the stomach flu and food poisoning, according to the CDC.

The types of symptoms may not differ much, but their appearance does. While the viruses that cause stomach flu generally have an incubation period of one to two days, food poisoning is usually felt within a few hours.

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