The Wesbury Blog

Is it the “Stomach Flu” or Is It Really Norovirus? Healthy Speaker Series Recap

December’s Healthy Living Program Series “Is it the ‘Stomach Flu” or Is It Really Norovirus?” was presented by Autumn Ferringer, Wesbury’s Assistant Director of Nursing.  Autumn’s presentation explained what the flu is, described what the symptoms are and gave preventative measures to lessen chances of catching the flu.

What is the flu? 

The flu is a respiratory virus that has an immediate/sudden onset.  Typically nursing staff see flu A develop around Christmas and New Years, and Flu B develop in the Spring.  If you feel that you have the flu it is important to see your doctor for proper treatment.

How Does this Differ from a Cold?

Gradual symptoms will appear with a cold such as a runny nose or sore throat.  While cold and flu symptoms can be similar, the flu is worse. The flu can include symptoms such as body aches, chills, fatigue and weakness.  Having the flu can make it hard to get out of bed and can knock you out of your daily routine.

So How is the Flu Different from Norovirus?

Many people think they have the “Stomach flu” but it is really Norovirus.  Norovirus has no respiratory symptoms.  Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain.  It is highly contagious.  One way to catch Norovirus is inhaling bacterial droplets in the air, for example if a sick person around you coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth.  You can also come in direct contact by shaking hands, or touching a surface, such as a table top, counter, shopping cart or food utensils that have been contaminated by an infected person.

How Do I Protect Myself During the Flu Season?

  • The #1 way is to wash your hands. 50% of potential illnesses are eliminated by hand washing. It is very important to wash your hands before eating.
  • Wash your laundry to prevent recontamination.
  • Get your flu shot
  • Stay home if you are sick to prevent spreading germs.

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