Diarrhea Home > Stomach Flu Information

If you or your child has diarrhea and/or vomiting, you may be searching for information on the stomach flu. The term "stomach flu" is inaccurate, however. This common illness is caused by a number of different viruses, but they are not the same type of virus that causes the flu. In addition, the virus doesn't actually affect the stomach -- it affects the small intestine.
Other names for stomach flu include:
  • Viral gastroenteritis (gastroenteritis refers to an inflammation of the stomach and intestines)
  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Nonbacterial gastroenteritis.
As with many other viral infections, treatment involves managing the symptoms while the body fights the infection. Rest, clear liquids, and easy-to-digest foods are often recommended for people with the stomach flu. For infants and young children, oral rehydration solutions can also be helpful.
(For more information, including how long a person with viral gastroenteritis stays contagious, click Stomach Flu.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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