Diarrhea Home > Stomach Flu Symptoms

For people with stomach flu, symptoms may include watery diarrhea, vomiting, and body aches. Other symptoms include fever, chills, and a general sense of tiredness. In most cases, symptoms of stomach flu last anywhere from one to ten days, depending on which virus is responsible for the illness.

An Introduction to Stomach Flu Signs and Symptoms

When a person becomes infected with a stomach flu virus (see Types of Stomach Flu Viruses), it begins to multiply within the small intestine. After approximately one to ten days, stomach flu signs and symptoms can appear. This period between stomach flu transmission and the start of symptoms is the "stomach flu incubation period." In some cases, this period can be as short as four hours.

Common Symptoms of Stomach Flu

Not all people who are infected with a stomach flu virus will exhibit symptoms of the illness. If stomach flu symptoms do occur, the illness begins suddenly. Common symptoms include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping ("stomach ache")
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Dehydration.
Other symptoms of stomach flu can include:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • General sense of tiredness.
Symptoms can last anywhere from one to ten days, depending on which virus a person is infected with. Stomach flu symptoms can be mild to severe.

Final Thoughts on Stomach Flu Symptoms

The symptoms discussed in this article are not sure signs of stomach flu. A number of other infections and conditions can cause similar symptoms. If you or your child develops possible stomach flu symptoms, visit your healthcare provider so that the problem can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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