Gastroenteritis is the medical term for a stomach virus, many people call it the stomach flu. However, this not the same as influenza (“the flu”) which is a respiratory illness.
A stomach virus causes an inflammation of your stomach lining and may cause any (or all) of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. These viruses are usually mild and go away on their own and require no specific treatment other than fluids and medicine for achiness and fever.
Since stomach viruses are most commonly spread due to contact with an infected person, the best prevention is frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with ill people.
Call your healthcare provider if:
- You’re not able to keep liquids down for 24 hours.
- You’ve been vomiting for more than two days.
- You’re vomiting blood.
- You’re dehydrated – signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine or little or no urine and severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness.
- You notice blood in your bowel movements.
- You have a fever above 104 F.