Can Stomach Flu be Prevented With Influenza Vaccine?

Can Stomach Flu be Prevented With Influenza Vaccine?
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The flu vaccine is considered quite effective in preventing the spread of influenza virus and reducing its severity. However, the flu vaccine was not able to prevent stomach flu that attacks the digestive system.

So, what is the cause?

Why can’t the flu vaccine prevent stomach flu?

Influenza or flu is a disease that is different from the common cold (common cold). The flu has symptoms that are very similar to colds, but both are caused by different viruses.

Common colds will cause nasal congestion and runny without serious complications. Conversely, flu can cause dangerous complications such as pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, to organ failure that can be fatal.

Giving the flu vaccine is intended for the body to form antibodies to ward off influenza virus infections. Launching the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page, giving a flu vaccine should be done every 1 year.

The flu vaccine can protect you from influenza caused by influenza A and influenza B viruses, but this vaccine cannot prevent stomach flu. Although both are called ‘flu’, stomach flu is a completely different disease from influenza.

What is stomach flu?

Stomach flu is another term for a disease called gastroenteritis, or more commonly referred to as vomiting. Although it is called ‘flu’, stomach flu is not actually caused by an influenza virus infection.

Stomach flu can be caused by various viruses, including rotavirus and norovirus. You can get this disease through contaminated food and water or direct contact with sufferers.

The flu vaccine cannot prevent stomach flu because the causative virus, affected body organs, and symptoms are different. Influenza attacks the respiratory system and is characterized by fever, coughing, muscle aches, and blocked nose.

Meanwhile, stomach flu shows symptoms in the form of:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild fever
  • Muscle rheumatic pain or headache

Adults with a healthy body condition can usually recover quickly. However, this disease can be dangerous for children, the elderly, as well as people with decreased immune function.

How to prevent stomach flu

You cannot prevent stomach flu using a flu vaccine because they are very different things. Even so, influenza and stomach flu can both be prevented by maintaining cleanliness.

The easiest step is to diligently wash your hands using soap and running water. Also clean every part of the house that is most often touched to eradicate the virus that causes disease.

Make sure all food and drinks are kept in clean and closed containers to protect them from virus contamination. Avoid sharing cutlery, cups, towels, and other personal items with others.

To prevent stomach flu in infants and children, you can give the rotavirus vaccine through an immunization program. This vaccine is given when babies are 2, 4 and 6 months old.

Influenza and stomach flu are two different diseases. The vaccine used to prevent it also varies. However, maintained personal hygiene is one key to preventing both.

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