How is the stomach flu diagnosed?

Answer: The stomach flu is diagnosed by a physical exam or stool sample test.


"Stomach flu" is just a nickname for viral gastroenteritis. It is not related to influenza, the real flu. Viral gastroenteritis is usually diagnosed based on symptoms. A test may be done on a stool sample to determine if a child has rotavirus or adenovirus but tests usually aren’t done for other viruses. Most of the time, we have no idea which particular virus we have. Your doctor might recommend a stool sample test for you in order to rule out a bacterial or parasitic infection. The doctor will also want to rule out appendicitis and strep throat. It is very important to clean with a product that actually kills norovirus when a stomach bug is in your home such as the and Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Spray and Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Wipes.


--Annie Pryor, Ph.D.