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Stomach flu also goes by the name gastroenteritis. Usually, the flu goes away on its own after a short time. You may confuse stomach flu as being caused by the influenza virus. However, that is not the case. The strain of flu responsible for the condition is found around the regions of stomach and intestines, unlike influenza which involves the respiratory tract, head, and lungs. The agents that cause it are bacteria, viruses, and parasites including Cryptosporidium among others. These organisms enter the regions they infect through the mouth.
Stomach flu symptoms will manifest themselves after you have had physical contacts with an infected person. Among the physical contacts that will also get you infected are; handshakes, sharing food with someone having the virus and maybe drinking from a cup that has been used by a patient. Once you have been in contact with an infected person, the virus will transport itself to the regions where it will cause the condition. In the stomach and intestines, the virus will cause an inflammation at different spots and thus will lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
This virus manifests itself through a myriad of symptoms. Before the symptoms start to appear and reveal themselves, the virus shall have taken several days in your body. The number of days the symptoms will take will largely depend on the type of infection. While others can stretch up to ten days, others take a shorter time, probably a day or two. Usually, the symptoms will go away even without the assistance of a doctor.
The symptoms of stomach flu and how the virus will manifest itself will differ among individuals. Moreover, the severity of the symptoms will largely depend on how resistant your body is to the virus. If your body is less resilient, you will get more severe symptoms unlike when you have excellent resistance to the infection.
Below are some of the symptoms that will show in a patient infected by flu virus:
- Fever that keeps escalating daily
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Fainting spells
- Muscle pains
- Burning pains in the stomach
Stomach flu cannot be considered as a critical condition since it can disappear by itself. Though at other times, the condition may escalate and the patient may appear very ill to the point that it could be life threatening. At this point, you must seek the attention of a physician. You need to take great care when you start noticing the symptoms especially dehydration and its developments. This is because it is the most dangerous symptom of stomach flu. If you vomit and diarrhea continuously, you will lose water and electrolytes from the body and which eventually lead to dehydration.
Here are some of the symptoms of dehydration;
- Sunken eyes
- Increased thirst
- Skin loses its elasticity
- Fever shoots to above 101 degrees F
- Mucous membranes in the mouth become dry
- Bloody vomit
- Bloody stool
- Decreased urination
- Swollen abdomen
- Constant vomiting
While it can be a less severe condition, stomach flu comes with symptoms that are life-threatening. You can, however, handle the symptoms by taking more fluids aside from seeking medication. Above all, ensure that you avoid as much as you can, the areas that may get you contacting the condition. This will help you stay safe and not worried about the discomfort that the state subjects you to.