The Difference Between Stomach Flu And Food Poisoning

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Many think that the stomach bug (or stomach flu) and food poisoning are one and the same. They couldn’t be more wrong. While both affect our digestive tracts causing abdominal pain and discomfort, their similarities end there. These diseases are two very different conditions and telling them apart is key to choosing the right treatment.
Symptoms alone can’t tell you whether a person has the stomach flu food poisoning. While telling them apart can be quite tricky, these diseases have signs that help identify them. These clues, when combined with laboratory tests, aid doctors in narrowing-down their diagnoses and helping them decide on the proper course to take.
Here are the differences between stomach flu and food poisoning that will help you tell them apart.
1. Cause of Stomach Flu


Many make the mistake of thinking that the stomach flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis, and the flu are the same. The latter, though also caused by a virus, is a respiratory disease and does not affect the digestive tract nor cause severe abdominal symptoms.
The stomach flu, on the other hand, is caused by different strains of viruses that infect the digestive system, causing a myriad of symptoms. The most common of these viruses is the norovirus, which is responsible for most of the cases of viral gastroenteritis in the United States.