How Long Does Stomach Flu Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 To 10 Days

Stomach flu, or scientifically known as Viral enterities is a disease caused due to intestinal infection. It is generally caused by direct or indirect contact with the infected person, or through consuming contaminated food or water.

Generally, stomach flu is self diagnosable and does not require any such medical help until and unless very serious. The incubation period of stomach flu ranges from 1 to 2 days when the virus starts to attack intestine but no symptoms are visible as such.

Stomach flu can lead to nominal symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting and stomach ache. However, in serious conditions, the symptoms can be diarrhoea, indigestion and abdominal cramps.

How Long Does Stomach Flu Last?

Stomach flu generally ranges from 7 to 10 days, however, depending upon some factors, the time period may vary. The factors could be seriousness of stomach flu, environment, type of diagnose and health measures taken.

However, there is one factor which can be termed as the major factor. The factor is, type of stomach flu causing virus. There are many viruses like gastro attacking viruses, intestine attacking viruses and other such viruses which cause stomach flu.

Thus, depending upon the type of virus, stomach flu can be divided into many forms and consequently, the time period of how long the stomach flu last also changes.

There are majorly 4 types of prevailing stomach flu causing viruses, Norovirus, Rotavirus, Astrovirus and Adenovirus.

Though the diagnosis of these viruses are same and symptoms are also similar only, however, the symptoms can last long for these stomach flu viruses for different time period. Here’s a summary of how long these 4 type of stomach flu last.

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Type Of Stomach Flu Time
Norovirus3 to 5 days
Rotavirus4 to 8 days
Astrovirus3 to 5 days
Adenovirus7 to 10 days

Why Does Stomach Flu Last That Long?

Stomach flu is nothing serious but just a viral infection. However, the infected person must be taken care of in order to prevent the flu from getting serious.

In many countries like US, people are provided with vaccines for stomach flu. So vaccinated people don’t get stomach flu that often and in that case, the symptoms last for just 1 to 3 days. The vaccine not just reduces the time period for symptoms to last long but also the chances of getting infected by stomach flu virus.

Moreover, if not taken any medicines or medical attention, the human body takes up to 4 to 5 days to prepare anti viral bodies which can fight against stomach flu causing virus. Once the anti-viral bodies are built in the body, it takes 2 to 3 days for body to fight those stomach flu causing virus.

Therefore, stomach flu generally lasts long for 7 to 10 days when not diagnosed.

Whereas, if any medicines are taken, or measures are taken to heal the stomach flu, it lasts long for about 2 to 4 days only. It is so because lab and imaging technologies help you find the exact solution to diagnosing the stomach flu.

After that, one you start taking the prescribed medications, the chemicals of those medicines promote the growth of anti-viral bodies inside the human body cells and thus speeds up the recovery process. Moreover, for particular symptoms also you can take medicines to get relief from them such as for fever, stomachache and more.

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Conclusion

Stomach flu is a highly contagious infection caused. Though this infection does not cause much of health risks, the symptoms caused by it are not something would be okay with.

This infection shows many symptoms which makes increases the difficties of the person struggling with stomach flu. The symptoms can go anywhere from stomach ache, abdominal pain, vomiting, dehydration, fatigue, fever, nausea to even diarrhoea and indigestion.

Thus, it is important to keep the infected person isolated in order to prevent the spread of this viral infection. Moreover, it is also important to keep the surroundings hygienic and keep food preserved.

Although, stomach flu can be diagnosed at home by taking rest and following measures, but if the infection seems serious then it gets highly important to consult a doctor and take prescribed medications.

References

  1. https://www.libertymedicalwriting.com/s/Probiotics-and-Gastroenteritis-December-2018.pdf
  2. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/115/3/348/173024