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Food Poisoning vs Stomach Bug

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Food Poisoning vs Stomach Bug

What is the Stomach Bug? 

A stomach bug, or stomach flu, is caused by a virus that infects the intestines and causes diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and stomachaches. The stomach flu is spread through direct contact with an infected person and is highly contagious. Most instances of the stomach flu last for one or two days before symptoms end and the virus leaves the body, although the person may still be contagious up to two weeks after infection. 

Stomach flu symptoms are like food poisoning, and it may be hard to distinguish between the two conditions. However, the few distinguishing signs of the stomach flu include muscle aches, joint aches and weight loss. 

The best treatment for any illness that causes diarrhea and vomiting is increasing fluid intake to avoid dehydration. It is also essential to reintroduce the body to bland and easy foods to avoid upsetting the stomach. Plenty of rest can also help the body recover. 

What is Food Poisoning? 

Like the stomach flu, food poisoning has some of the same symptoms, but the underlying causes are different. 

Food Poisoning happens when someone ingests food or drink infected with bacteria, viruses or parasites. Food stored improperly or undercooked allows bacteria to infest and grow on the item, ultimately contaminating it. When someone ingests the bacteria, it can cause illness and unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Food poisoning symptoms appear faster than the stomach flu and happen quickly after eating contaminated food. 

While you can often treat food poisoning at home like the stomach flu, there are signs that the issue is more severe and requires medical attention. If an infant, child, pregnant or elderly show signs of food poisoning, seek medical attention, especially if they persist. If there are more significant symptoms, like botulism in infants, medical attention is required. 

Severe food poisoning symptoms may develop faster than the stomach flu. Visit a doctor if your symptoms include: 

  • Bloody stool or vomit 

  • Severe abdominal cramping 

  • Shock 

  • Loss of consciousness 

Most cases of food poisoning are treatable at home by increasing fluid intake, resting and avoiding foods that may be harsh on the stomach. There are over 250 kinds of germs that can cause food poisoning. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics or probiotics in some instances. Severe cases of food poisoning are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.  

If you feel your condition is a true emergency, call 911 immediately. If you're experiencing extreme pain or food poisoning, seek medical attention and visit Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

The Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care medical team will help you determine whether your food poisoning or stomach flu symptoms require ER or urgent care treatment. Patients will only be billed for the level of care they receive by ER-trained physicians and staff. Baptist Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care emergency room is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The urgent care clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Appointments are not required. Walk-is are welcome, and our health care professionals are ready to help. 

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of a team of experts delivering quality medical care. As a combined ER and urgent care under one roof, effective treatment is administered at every level of care. Patients are supported during their entire journey from fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions. We also have on-site labs, CT, X-rays and ultrasound to ensure patients receive the best treatment options for themselves and their families. 

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care Navarre is located at 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.