Intestinal flu and gastroenteritis: how to make a difference?
Gastroenteritis and stomach flu: similar symptoms
The symptoms of a viral gastroenteritis and an intestinal flu are the same, and can be more or less intense:
What is the difference between an intestinal flu and a gastroenteritis?
If the symptoms of these two diseases are similar, the causes may be different. A gastroenteritis can be caused by a virus (usually rotavirus or Adnénovirus), a bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella, etc.) or parasites, while the intestinal flu, just like the seasonal flu (influenza virus), can only be caused by viruses. The intestinal flu is therefore similar to a viral gastroenteritis.
In the case of a gastroenteritis whose origin is bacterial, it will speak of "tourist" when it declared itself following a journey where the level of hygiene was lower. Tourista (or "turista") results in more or less severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, but rarely vomiting.
Note that the vaccine that exists against seasonal flu does not protect the person against the stomach flu, since it is not the same virus.
Epidemic of intestinal flu or gastroenteritis: 6 tips to avoid contamination
Because the stomach flu and viral gastroenteritis are caused by a virus, they are very contagious, and an epidemic is quickly declared.
Contamination can be rapid (by contact with the sick person's hands, saliva, stool, and any object or food contaminated by the virus involved). Hence the importance of respecting some hygiene rules.
- Do not contact anyone affected by any of the viruses
- Do not consume food that could have been in direct contact with a sick person
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water and scrub well, especially during epidemics
- Wash your hands well before preparing a meal, sitting at the table, and leaving the toilet
- Regularly change the kitchen towel and towel in the bathroom
- Thoroughly clean kitchen utensils and countertop if you are sick, so you do not contaminate food
What to do in case of viral gastroenteritis or intestinal flu?
There is no cure for these viral infections, but some over-the-counter medications can help relieve the symptoms, the healing time. If in doubt, or persistent symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
If you have symptoms of viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu, be sure to hydrate yourself by drinking regularly. Watch for any signs of dehydration (feeling thirsty, dry mouth, less urine, drowsiness, headaches ...).
Some dietary advice can help your body recover better: avoid raw vegetables, high fiber foods, dairy products, fruits (except bananas that are recommended). Take light meals with rice, potatoes, pasta or cooked vegetables. Until symptoms disappear after about 2 to 3 days.
Finally, the rules of hygiene are of course to apply from the first symptoms, not to contaminate your surroundings.
Read also :
⋙ Gastroenteritis: drinking coca, is it really effective against the disease?
⋙ Gastroenteritis in pregnant women: how to treat it?
⋙ Cold, gastro, flu: 10 things to know to get better