Stomach Bug vs Flu?

Updated on January 07, 2015
R.D. asks from Port Jefferson, NY
12 answers

My four year old is just getting over the stomach bug. Throwing up w no fever and just looks unwell. I woke up this morning feeling nauseous and no just feel so lethargic and listless. No appetite. How do you know the diff bw the flu and the stomach bug. I don't have a fever yet but that's how I feel!

Also I took diflucan a few weeks ago and have some stomach pain since. Anyone experience this?

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answers from Grand Forks on

The flu is an upper respiratory disease. The symptoms include fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, cough and fatigue. Flu symptoms do not include nausea or vomiting.

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Influenza is not a stomach bug. Some people call a stomach virus a "stomach flu" but that is NOT influenza or the flu at all. People suffering from influenza typically experience fever, body aches, headache, eye pain, fatigue and respiratory symptoms. You are usually sick for nearly a week.
Hope you and your kiddo get well soon.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think the body aches is the real test of flu.
When you have the flu? Even your HAIR hurts!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

The real flu - influenza - is a respiratory illness. It does not include stomach symptoms. I would imagine that you have the same stomach bug that your child had. Feel better soon!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Well, you're really talking about three different things. There's a stomach bug, which usually only lasts a day or two, stomach flu, which is more serious and often lasts 10 days and there's influenza, which is "the flu" that is in the news and the reason there are flu shots.

Influenza can certainly cause lack of appetite and sometimes cause nausea, but it really is much more like a really bad cold with aches and serious fatigue. Influenza doesn't cause vomiting or diarrhea.

I have no idea if anything you are experiencing is related to taking diflucan, but it couldn't hurt to mention it to your doctor.

Chances are you have a stomach bug. You really don't need to eat anything unless you feel like it. You do want to stay hydrated. If you're not feeling better in a couple of days or you start to feel worse give your doctor a call. Can't hurt to call!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

The flu virus attacks the lungs, not the stomach. You could have a stomach virus or maybe you ate bad food.

Stay hydrated and call your Dr.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Canuck has it right :)

And for your stomach issues after the diflucan, I suggest making yogurt part of your daily diet for a little while to get your system back on track.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

The flu is severe congestion, coughing, fever, sweats, shaking, freezing chills, and more. It can cause death within days.

A stomach virus, often mislabed "flu" isn't more than that, a stomach virus. Don't know of anyone who's died from a stomach bug...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

The flu is miserable. Not only are you getting all the effects of a stomach bug, but your head hurts, your muscles hurt, no energy to do anything. Depending on the strain, you could get sore throat/sinus issues/respiratory issues. I never realized how horrible a true flu is until I caught it, and was out of commission for nearly 3 weeks trying to get over it.

I know the flu is nasty is year- I know (personally know, not just heard about) 3 people in different states who have been hospitalized with flu complications this year. (Two of them for developing pneumonia, the other for dehydration.)

I recommend making a nice pot of bone broth. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Could be a virus or foodborne illness, but definitely NOT the flu, for the reasons others have given. In fact, often when people say they have a stomach "flu," it's related to something they ate in the past week or so.



answers from Los Angeles on

Chances are, you only have a week or so to live. Therefore you should get on a plane immediately and fly to California to enjoy some 80 degree sunshine and evening cocktails. :*


answers from Dover on

Flu is not a stomach bug...a stomach bug is sometimes referred to as the "stomach flu" but the flu is short for influenza.

With the real "flu" you're gonna have fever, chills, coughing, headache, along with possible no appetite, lethargy, sneezing/running nose.

With a stomach bug or "stomach flu" it is gonna be vomitting and/or diarrhea, possibly no appetite (especially if you're vomitting) and lethargy (because you're not keeping anything down).

It would be possible to have both the flu and a stomach bug at the same time but the flu does not include the stomach.

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