What is the difference between influenza (the flu) and norovirus (the stomach flu)?Influenza (the flu) is a respiratory disease that affects your air passages, such as your nasal passages and lungs.Norovirus (the stomach flu) is an intestinal disease that affects your stomach. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
While vomiting, diarrhea, and being nauseous or “sick to your stomach” can sometimes be related to influenza — more commonly in children than adults — these problems are rarely the main symptoms of influenza.What are the symptoms of norovirus?
The most common symptoms of norovirus are:
- throwing up
- stomach pain
- body aches
A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.
If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill and throw up or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.
How can you prevent yourself from getting the norovirus illness?There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection, but research is being done in this area. You can reduce the risk of getting infected with norovirus by following good health habits.(Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html)