Is it the Flu or the Stomach Flu?

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again where the flu virus is rampant. As the weather begins to change, families are spending more time inside where germs can spread easily. The two most common viruses during the flu season are the Type A flu that can be prevented with a flu shot and the stomach flu.

How do you tell the difference between the the flu and the stomach flu?

The flu is an upper respiratory infection that causes sore throat, chills, body aches, runny nose, and coughing. The stomach flu (Norovirus) is a gastrointestinal illness that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Both can lead to severe dehydration if you don’t drink enough fluids.

Many people who have been infected with this season’s Type A flu strain have also developed gastrointesintal symptoms — vomiting, stomach cramps, mild diarrhea — on top of their cough and runny nose.

Both conditions should be managed by getting plenty of rest, taking over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce fever and aches, and avoiding close contact with others for the first few days.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

All children over 6 months of age. If a child under 9 is getting a flu shot for the first time, they should get two shots, given one month apart. FluMist, the nasal form of the vaccine can be given to children over 2 years of age if they don’t have a history of asthma

Don’t forget to get yourself immunized as well! We are also giving shots to parents  for your convenience.

Don’t delay, spots are filling up fast! While you are in the office, get your child a well-child checkup to save time. By keeping an eye on your child’s health, you can prevent future illnesses and spend less time in the doctor’s office this year.

Dr. K’s Top Ten Flu Myths

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About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.