Food poisoning usually resolves on its own in 1-2 days, while the stomach flu can last 1-3 days (although sometimes longer). It's important you know what is causing your symptoms so you can properly treat your illness.
Onset of symptoms
The stomach flu typically has about a 24 to 48 hour incubation period in your system and then starts causing symptoms. In contrast, food poisoning comes on quickly — typically about two to six hours after you've eaten spoiled food.
Stomach viruses are often mild and go away on their own in 1 to 3 days. Babies, older adults, or people who have low immune systems should see the doctor right away. This can help prevent their infection from getting worse.
Avoid food for the first few hours as your stomach settles down. Drink water, broth, or an electrolyte solution, which will replace the minerals that you lose with vomiting and diarrhea. Eat when you feel ready, but start with small amounts of bland, nonfatty foods such as toast, rice, and crackers. Get plenty of rest.
You should drink plenty of liquids. If vomiting is a problem, try sipping small amounts of clear liquids. Replacing lost fluids and electrolytes is the most important treatment for food poisoning. Eating saltine crackers can also help replace electrolytes.
Over-the-counter medicines may stop the symptoms of food poisoning. Bismuth subsalicylate — you may know this medicine as Pepto-Bismol — can treat nausea and diarrhea. Loperamide — you may know this as Imodium — is an antidiarrheal that stops diarrhea by slowing down the digestive process.
Individuals generally become ill 12 – 48 hours after exposure (swallowing norovirus). The acute phase of illness typically lasts 1 to 3 days.
"Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are less common symptoms of COVID-19, but when they do occur, they tend to be some of the first symptoms you will experience," says Barajas.
“You can also get a stomach bug by touching any surface that has been in contact with the stool, saliva or vomit of someone infected with the virus.” By contrast, the cause of food poisoning is consumption of food or water contaminated by bacteria, certain viruses, and less commonly, parasites.
“So this is just a reminder that we are seeing that return to prepandemic levels.” Between August 2021 and July 2022, 992 norovirus outbreaks were reported to the CDC, compared with 343 in the previous surveillance year (when COVID dominated the virus landscape) and 1,056 the year before that.
How long does food poisoning last? Most of the time, food poisoning passes within 12 to 48 hours. That's how long it takes for a healthy body to purge the infection. It may last longer if you have a weakened immune system, or if you have a parasite that needs to be treated with antibiotics.
The CDC, which has a surveillance program called NoroSTAT, says norovirus cases have “increased rapidly” since January 2022. According to a recent report, the number of norovirus outbreaks reported by NoroSTAT-participating states was three times higher between 2021 and 2022 compared to the previous year.
Diarrhea caused by COVID-19 tends to be more watery, yellow or green in color. It may be accompanied by cramping and bloating. If you have COVID-19, you will likely develop other symptoms within a day or two, such as fever, cough, congestion and/or loss of taste and smell.
Signs a stomach bug is going around
vomiting. diarrhea. abdominal cramps. low grade fever.
During August 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022, there were 992 norovirus outbreaks reported by NoroSTAT-participating states. During the same period last seasonal year, there were 343 norovirus outbreaks reported by these states.
The primary differences between norovirus and rotavirus are based on who gets it, how long the infection typically lasts and the possible complications. The norovirus typically lasts no more than about two and a half days, while rotavirus generally lasts three to eight days.
You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea – as well as water, adults could also try fruit juice and soup. Avoid giving fizzy drinks or fruit juice to children as it can make their diarrhoea worse.
There is no real cure for a stomach bug (viral gastroenteritis) because it is caused by a virus. Most people don't need medical treatment and symptoms will go away on their own within a few days, though in some people symptoms may last up to 10 days.
In many cases, throwing up is a protective reflex to rid your body of viruses, bacteria, or parasites in your digestive system.
Pepto Diarrhea can treat diarrhea at the source.
The stomach bug will pass—but there's no need to suffer through it or simply control the symptoms. Aside from staying hydrated, the best thing you can do for the stomach bug is treat the diarrhea symptoms. Pepto Diarrhea has you covered.
The only way food poisoning can be accurately diagnosed is through a stool sample submitted to a lab, or in the case of Listeria, through blood or spinal fluid tests.
See your doctor or healthcare provider if you have symptoms that are severe, including: Bloody diarrhea. High fever (temperature over 102°F, measured in your mouth) Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration)
You should immediately go to the ER if you are experiencing any of the following: Blood in your vomit or stool. Green or yellow vomit. Severe dehydration symptoms, which include dry mouth, extreme thirst, headache, dizziness, dry skin, and clamminess.
Common symptoms of the stomach bug include fever, abdominal distress, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Sometimes, stomach flu may go away after 24 hours. But it may take up to 10 days before you fully recover. Treatments may involve antibiotics, medications to stop vomiting and diarrhea, and good hydration.