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Is It Influenza or a Stomach Bug? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Is It Influenza or a Stomach Bug?

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     In tonight's Healthier Me, while influenza cases are spiking, so are cases of the stomach flu.

     Doctors at Sanford Health say they are seeing a lot more people suffering from the stomach bug. Gastroenteritis is often called the stomach flu. People sometimes confuse that with influenza, and while many of the symptoms cross over, there are also some big differences.

Dr. Kirsten Juhl: "Viral gastroenteritis is not the same as influenza. Both are caused by viruses. Respiratory influenza is what you get the flu shot for; it causes coughing and possibly pneumonia. The other bug causes diarrhea and vomiting and ... that kind of illness."

     Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough and good handwashing will help prevent the spread of both illnesses.

     Whether you have the stomach flu or respiratory influenza, doctors recommend staying home for 24 hours after symptoms disappear so you don't spread the infection, and they remind you that dehydration is a big concern if you have the stomach bug.  

    Keep in contact with your doctor if your symptoms persist, and don't spread the germs to others by going to hospitals and clinics when you don't need to.

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