Symptoms of Food Poisoning and Stomach Viruses

  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Watery Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

So how do you tell the difference between food poisoning and a stomach virus?

Food Poisoning: The symptoms start within a few hours of your last meal.  Others may have eaten the same food from the same dish or plate and might exhibit similar symptoms. Determining if others are sick maybe difficult as they may be in a different location hours after you have eaten.  If possible ask anyone that you may have dined with if they are sick as well.  The quantity of the food you eat that is contaminated can also effect the severity of your symptoms.  Food poisoning tends to be more acute than a stomach virus with symptoms being generally more severe.  If you suspect that you have food poisoning seeking prompt medical attention in order to avoid severe dehydration and further complications.

Stomach Virus:  A stomach virus is most frequently acquired through exposure to someone else that has the virus.  If you have been around anyone before you became ill that also exhibited the same symptoms more than likely you have a stomach virus.  During the illness you will want to drink fluids as much as possible. There are also over the counter medicine that can help with the symptoms of diarrhea and nausea.  The virus should become noticeably improved after 24 hours.  If after 24 hours your symptoms still persist, you will want to seek medical attention.  Rarely one can develop a variety of different gastrointestinal ailments that can cause similar symptoms to a stomach virus that need to be diagnosed and treated by a physician.

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