Norovirus or Food Poisoning? Your Googlechondriac Questions Answered

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You have probably heard about the new stomach flu that’s going around—and if you’ve Googled nausea and vomiting –it’ll probably pop up on your computer screen and for good reason.

“The CDC has isolated it and boy it is spreading like wildfire,” Dr. Janna Massar of Texas Health Plano said. “It’s one of many stomach viruses but it’s a new strain of a Norovirus and it’s a bad booger-bear.”

Dr. Massar said the stomach bug arrived in the fall and the new kid on the block and turned into a schoolyard bully. Some people may confuse the new superbug with food poisoning because they both come on strong however Mother Nature will soon make the diagnosis for you.

“Human nature is to always blame the last place you ate,” Dr. Massar said. “You’ll never forget the last place you ate before you got sick but typically that type of exposure which we call food poisoning will resolve itself in 24 hours.”

What about the new stomach flu? Not so much. It can linger for up to ten days and after that 24 hour window you’ll know it is worst case scenario.

“You’re going to know it because it’s going to hit you with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and most of the time fever,” Dr. Massar said. “So when you get those symptoms you know you’ve been exposed to a stomach virus.”

The new bug is easy to get and hard to get rid of–in fact you’ll probably just have to ride it out.

Dr. Massar said listen to your body and don’t eat or drink too much because what goes in will come back out in a hurry.

“If your doctor likes you a lot they’ll call in some anti-nausea medication that will help you get a long,” Dr. Massar said with a laugh. “Otherwise there is over the counter Imodium tablets that you can take and one Imodium after each loose bowl movement will slow things down enough so that you can function.”