How Similar or Different are Stomach Flu & Food Poisoning?

How Similar or Different are Stomach Flu & Food Poisoning?

With changing times, lifestyle has also changed; this has raised the number of diseases amongst the generation. One of the most common problems of this fast generation is stomach ailments. Since ordering and eating food from outside are preferred more than home cooked meal, stomach ailments are bound to happen. We never know in what conditions the food was prepared and if cleanliness and hygiene was maintained or not.

These stomach ailments cause stomach aches, vomiting, diarrhoea, and other such symptoms. It becomes tough to rule out whether it is stomach flu or food poisoning.There’s a thin line that divides the two. A good way to prevent stomach ailments is by maintaining hand hygiene even on the go by using products like Dettol Hand Sanitizer. It keeps germs away that lead to these stomach issues.

How can one find out if they are suffering from stomach flu or food poisoning?

What is Stomach Flu – Its Symptoms and Prevention?

The primary cause for stomach flu is virus attacking the digestive system. Stomach flu is also called stomach bug or viral gastroenteritis. This condition is caused by norovirus;norovirus is estimated to cause 19 to 21 million illnesses per year as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Stomach flu is unfortunately contagious and can be transmitted to others even after a few days of recovering from it. The two ways this can happen is:

*through direct and indirect contact with a person suffering from stomach flu
*consuming food or drinks that have been contaminated


The symptoms of stomach flu are similar to that of food poisoning but have a slight difference. These symptoms last for up to 10 days:

*Nausea or vomiting
*Diarrhoea with watery and bloody stools
*Loss of appetite
*Stomach cramps and weakness
*Dizziness and headaches
*Mild fever

Maintaining Hygiene

Cleaning your hands before preparing or cooking food with disinfectants such as Dettol Hand Wash is essential to avoid transfer of germs causing Swine Flu. It is common for us to skip cleaning our hands when we are outside or travelling. In such cases, one should keep a hand sanitizer such as the Dettol Hand Sanitizer handy with them!

Taking Measures in Kitchens

Storage and cooking of food should be kept in mind. Vegetables and fruits should be adequately rinsed. Cooking of vegetables should be thorough, and most of the skin of fruits should be removed before consuming.

Sanitising the Infected Areas

Since stomach flu is transferable and can be contracted by direct or indirect contact, infected areas should be disinfected. Any space or surface that was infected by vomiting or diarrhoea such as tabletop, bedding, doorknobs, sinks etc. should be given a thorough clean up.

What is Food Poisoning – Symptoms and Preventions?

The transfer of bacteria and parasites from one surface to another is what ideally causes food poisoning. The main culprits of this disease – consuming uncooked foods such as sushi or salads. Another culprit is not maintaining the temperature of the food while storing as it can get contaminated and cause bacteria to grow on it, eventually leading to food poisoning. Also, consuming stale or spoilt foods can be a cause. Fortunately, it is nontransferable, unlike stomach flu.

Symptoms of food poisoning:

The symptoms of food poisoning appear within 6 hours and can last for a few hours to days. Here are the symptoms of food poisoning:

*Stomach pain


Proper storage of food in the right temperature can prevent food poisoning. One should be sure that the food they are consuming isn’t stale and hasn’t been left outside for more than 2 hours and even less during summer time.

Washing hands with disinfectants like Dettol Hand Wash is a must before handling poultry to avoid transfer of germs causing Swine Flu. Avoid anything that includes uncooked eggs, seafood or meat as they are an easy target for bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Here’s What We’re Saying

It is tough to determine initially whether you have food poisoning or stomach flu as there is a thin line amongst the two of them. Both are equally uneasy and discomforting, but with proper care and doctor’s consultation, it can be identified and treated. It is best to take preventive measures and maintain hygiene to avoid it in the future altogether.

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