Gastric flu: symptoms and treatment

Published At: 12 January 2020 , 10:29 AM

In the cooling season, in addition to colds and respiratory diseases, viral gastroenterocolitis, colloquially known as intestinal flu, is also familiar enough, sometimes they are also called abdominal or stomach flu.

They got this name because patients simultaneously show signs of flu and gastrointestinal upsets.

Gastric flu arises from the entry of rotavirus into the human body. Everyone can get this disease - from an infant to an older man, but most often, the infection diagnosed in children aged 6 to 12 months.

According to statistics, rotavirus accounts for 40 percent of all intestinal infections in children. Adults become infected during caring for sick children. Intestinal flu was widespread in the USA, and then it reached European countries.

How can I get infected?

Why does stomach flu occur, and what is it? The virus enters the human body through the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract.

  1. One type of transmission is food. That is, the infection enters the body through unwashed fruits, vegetables, and low-quality dairy products.
  2. The second route of infection is airborne. With a loud conversation, sneezing, coughing, germs from a sick person spread in the air.
  3. The transmission of gastric flu by contact-household means i not excluded. Therefore, during an outbreak, it is recommended to use your dishes and refuse the services of a standard dining room.

The intestinal virus is destroyed only by concentrated chlorine-containing disinfectants. 

Symptoms of stomach flu in adults

The average duration of the incubation period of the gastric influenza virus etiology is five days. Still, a shorter period can be observed, however, with all variants of the incubation period, the clinical manifestations of the disease are absent.

Specific periods of the disease:

the incubation period lasts 2-5 days;

acute period - up to 7 days;

recovery or convalescence - up to 5 days.

In the case of gastric flu, the symptoms are as follows:

  1. After the incubation period, body temperature rises sharply, signs of the febrile syndrome appear, vomiting and diarrhea begin. Discharge can change color, sometimes streaks of blood appear in the feces.
  2. Abdominal pain. A person with rotavirus infection experiences spastic pain in the abdomen of varying intensity.
  3. Runny nose, sore throat, sneezing. Often, intestinal flu develops just before an outbreak of traditional flu and may be accompanied by common signs of a viral infection.
  4. Loss of appetite, weakness. After 7-10 days of illness, the human body can become very depleted, facial features sharpened, blood pressure may decrease, and signs of mild anemia may appear.

Rotavirus infection is easily confused with ordinary intestinal poisoning, so consult a specialist for an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of intestinal flu are a danger to human health and life.


To prevent virus infection and increase the body's immune defense, it is important to follow simple hygiene rules: wash your hands thoroughly, eat only boiled water, well-cooked dishes, and only pasteurized dairy products.

When swimming in natural waters, water should not swallow. If a viral infection is detected, contact of patients with other people should be minimized, as well as a thorough disinfection of household items and premises.

Intestinal flu is an infectious disease that is quite acute. Gastroenteritis has vivid symptoms, but its signs are characteristic of other severe conditions; therefore, for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, you need to seek professional help. At the same time, it is much easier to prevent infection with rotavirus, for which you need to follow the basic rules of personal hygiene and minimize contact with a sick person.

Stomach flu treatment

In the case of gastric flu, no specific treatment has been developed to date. Therefore, the treatment of gastric flu in adults is purely symptomatic.

The main thing is to get rid of intoxication of the body as soon as possible, bring the water-salt balance back to normal, it can be disturbed during vomiting, diarrhea. A person should not have dehydration, and it is necessary to remove all toxins, normalize the work of the heart, strengthen the vascular walls, and prevent the bacterial infection from developing.

It is necessary to endure the acute period despite the unpleasant symptoms. In just 5-7 days, everything will return to normal.

  1. At the onset of diarrhea and vomiting, the water and salt balance should be restored - for this, you need to dilute the Regidron packet in a liter of warm water and drink 1-2 small sips.
  2. Take sorbents, for example, activated charcoal, Sorbex, Enterosgel, or others twice a day until the gastrointestinal symptoms eliminated.
  3. If necessary, use antipyretic drugs to normalize body temperature.
  4. Digestive enzymes also help - treatment with Mezim forte, Creon, Pancreatin.
  5. After the inflammatory process stopped, you need to take care of the intestinal microflora. In this situation, it is necessary to take probiotics for the intestines - Bifiform, Linex, Hilak forte.

The use of antibiotics for intestinal flu is pointless, since the infection is viral, not bacterial, in nature.

Nutrition and Diet

To speed up treatment for rotavirus infection, try to observe a gentle regimen. From the diet should be excluded:


fatty foods;

dairy products;

juices and drinks with gas.

Of foods with stomach flu, you should eat dried bread, pasta, cereals cooked on water (semolina, rice, buckwheat), chicken eggs (cooked in a cool, no more than one egg per day).

Gradually, low-fat soups, vegetables, stewed without salt and spices, mashed potatoes, soft cottage cheese, fresh fruits, and berries can be included in the patient's diet.