Things You Should Know About Stomach Flu

A flu shot won’t help

When people say “the flu” they mean influenza, a virus that circulates the globe each year attacking the nose and throat as it spreads through communities in waves. Flu shots protect against this virus—not ones that cause viral gastroenteritis. The confusion may be due to some symptom overlap, such as body aches, nausea, and low-grade fever, says Gary Rogg, MD, an internist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

But a flu shot won’t protect against stomach bugs. There’s no such thing as a stomach-flu shot (at least for grown-ups).

 

Culprit, the name is norovirus

Stop blaming the flu and instead know the true name of your trouble: Norovirus. This is a family of viruses most often to blame for adult gastroenteritis, although others include adenovirus and astrovirus. (Rotavirus is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in babies and young children).

Norovirus can spread like wildfire in any crowded place, causing outbreaks in day care centers, schools, cruise ships, hospitals, and nursing homes.

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