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Is It Food Poisoning or the Flu?


It happens to the best of us—that rush to the bathroom following a questionable dinner that leaves us hugging the toilet for 24-miserable hours. However, this embarrassing debacle often leaves us scratching our heads over whether we have the stomach flu (either a gastrointestinal virus or bacterial infection) or food poisoning.

It’s tough to tell which you have since the symptoms can often be identical, but there are a few subtle differences to help you decipher between food poisoning vs. the Gastroenteritis (in other words, the flu)…

1. The Telltale Symptoms of Food Poisoning

You can hardly ignore the symptoms of food poisoning. For one, they often leave you debilitated for days with symptoms of weakness; dizziness; nausea; vomiting; and even with bloody, explosive diarrhea to expel the bad food (i.e., salmonella) from your system. However, the symptoms of food poisoning are often mistaken for the stomach flu even though there is a big difference with how each illness affects your body.

With a stomach flu, the virus will attacks your intestines. Plus, you contract a stomach virus by coming into close contact with someone who is infected (i.e., you may touch the same object or share food). A stomach flu virus can also be transmitted via contaminated food or water. On the other hand, food poisoning is transmitted via contaminated food that contains infectious organisms, viruses, parasites, or bacteria (i.e., E. coli).

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