Difference Between Stomach Flu and Flu

Stomach Flu vs Flu | Viral Gastroenteritis vs Virus influenza Causes, Symptoms, Management

Viral infections, unlike other infections caused by bacteria, fungi and parasites, are different because viruses depend on the other living tissues for their metabolism and propagation, and they lack a cellular wall. They contain only the genetic material, necessary to propagate the future generations of viruses. Thus, they are very difficult to destroy once the infection has set in. One of the most common presentation we encounter viruses are through different types of flu. Flu does not denote viral infections caused by the influenza virus, but presentations are associated with fever, watery nose and cough, with or without other complaints caused by any viral agent.

Stomach Flu

Stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis is caused by the rotavirus, astrovirus, Norfalk like virus and enteroadeno virus. These viral particles are present in contaminated food and water and gives rise to symptoms about six hours after ingestion. The symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, dry mouth, watery stools etc. In the assessment of clinical signs, the most important are the signs of dehydration and its severity. The management is based on the type of viral infection and supportive management. As viruses are difficult to kill once infected, the best is to prevent dehydration by providing oral rehydration solutions, and supplement the nutrients being lost.


If you consider flu proper or flu causing viral pathogens leading to acute respiratory infections there are a variety of pathogens, but the most famous are the influenza group of viruses. They usually present with fever, cough, headache, malaise, sore throat, runny nose, and some may even develop diarrhea. These symptoms last for about one to two weeks and resolve. These different types of flu are not lethal, but can cause considerable morbidity in most, and can even lead to mortality in people debilitated at the time with other infections, or those who are at extremes of age. The management of this condition is also with supportive management and antiviral drugs, as well as, vaccines specifically designed for those who are more liable to develop flu. In addition, preventive aspect takes a main stage with the use of masks and proper disposal of nasal secretions.


What is the difference between Stomach Flu and Flu?

• Both these conditions are caused by viral agents, and there is no set specific agent responsible, but a bulk of viruses causes these conditions.

• They both present as all viral infections do, with fever, malaise, joint pain, and muscle pain, but stomach flu is mainly to deal with gastrointestinal symptoms while flu deals with mainly respiratory tract symptoms.

• The management of both these conditions is mainly supportive, but there are anti virals being developed to combat flu as it is the most debilitative and a cause of death than the other.



Thus, flu and stomach flu are both viral conditions, which do not have any clear-cut medicinal techniques to deal with them and flu is more deadly than stomach flu. But both can be limited by preventive techniques.