Nov 17, 2020

Interviewer: One of the most common questions parents have, your child's vomiting and has diarrhea, so is it the flu or a stomach bug? Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner, how can you tell the difference?

Dr. Gellner: A lot of parents often get stomach viruses confused with the flu. Sometimes they'll say, "I think my child has the stomach flu." But what their child has isn't influenza, it's another lovely virus. True influenza usually has other symptoms like high fevers, body aches, extreme tiredness, congestion, and coughing. Basically, they'll feel absolutely miserable. If your child just has vomiting or vomiting and diarrhea, then it's probably a virus that attacks only the digestive system, a stomach virus.

Interviewer: So what should parents do?

Dr. Gellner: Well, if your child is vomiting, the good news is it usually stops in 6 to 24 hours. The best thing to do is to keep your child home and keep them hydrated.

updated: November 17, 2020
originally published: November 29, 2017

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