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When is the flu, really the flu?

Stomach Flu VS Influenza from CBS 58 News on Vimeo.

This time of the year, Dr. Kevin Dahlman of Aurora Health Care sees the confusion over the stomach flu, as people call it, and the flu or influenza.

"We're calling it stomach flu," explained Dr. Dahlman, "But really it's a stomach virus which has nothing to do with the influenza.It's a different virus."

The stomach flu is often causes by a food-borne bacteria or norovirus.

The symptoms include:

vomiting

cramping

occasional fever

diarrhea.

"A lot of rest," says Dr. Dahlman about treatment. 'Keep up with fluid losses. For little kids we recommend electrolyte solutions. That's going to be important. so their electrolytes don't get out of balance. So they don't get dehydrated."

Flu symptoms:

cough

congesion

body aches and pains

fever

exhaustion or fatigue

"So perhaps you've had fevers and fatigue for five days. cough and congestion going on," explains Dr. Dahlman. "Then, you can get pneumonia. It is the infection of a bacteria in the lungs. Influenza is virus and it causes inflammation. So, fluid gets into the lungs and then gets infected with bacteria. It can be life threatening."

Dr Dahlman's treatment for the flu is prevention.

He says the flu vaccine does not give you the flu.

In some cases people may feel fatigued. But that's a sign that your immune system is kicking in.

"It doesn't work 100% percent of the time," admits Dahlman, "But a little protection is a lot better than no protection."

Dr. Dahlman will address the controversy with vaccines and his advice to parents who have objections Thursday on the CBS 58 News at 4 p.m.


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