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jca's avatar

Is there definitely such thing as a 24 hour stomach virus?

Asked by jca (28612 points ) June 14th, 2010

I have always heard of (and think i may have had on occasion) what’s commonly known as a 24 hour stomach virus. This usually mimics the symptoms of food poisoning: diarrhea and/or vomiting.

one of my friends recently told me that she heard once that there is no such thing as a 12 or 24 hour virus, that if you have these symptoms you probably have food poisoning.

is there definitely such thing as a 24 hour stomach virus?

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12 Answers

Thammuz's avatar

I’ve been told this too, only it was my physician who told me, so i guess it’s probably true…

Cruiser's avatar

I have come to understand the 12/24 hours Stomach flu as something you ingested that got you sick, food contamination is a prime cause, but public water areas like pools, lakes and rivers and poor hand hygiene will get you a dose of it!

anartist's avatar

I agree with answers above.

Trillian's avatar

According to this it can be a virus, bacteria, protozoan, or a couple other unpleasant things.

shilolo's avatar

Generally speaking, if the symptoms come on quickly after a meal and stop within 12–24 hours, then the culprit is a preformed toxin from Clostridium, Staphylococcus, or Bacillus. It would be highly unusual to have a 12–24 hour infection with bacteria or viruses, which tend to take some time first to replicate in the gut, and then to cause disease, and then to “go away”.

gasman's avatar

Viral gastroenteritis (Mayo Clinic):
Symptoms usually last just a day or two, but occasionally they may persist as long as 10 days…Because the symptoms are similar, it’s easy to confuse viral diarrhea with diarrhea caused by bacteria such as salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli) or parasites such as giardia.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I am sure there is such a thing as the 24-hour flu. My family gathers each year for a Christmas Eve dinner. Before I got there, I felt queasy, and within 2 hours, without eating, was sick. It swept through most of the family within the next 24 hours. My poor sister-in-law spent the night in the bathroom with four ill toddlers in-between washing linens and pajamas. Christmas dinner was delayed for a day, and by then, we were all fine. There was no way it could be food poisoning.

JLeslie's avatar

There definitely is such a thing. It is also true that sometimes food poisoning is mistaken for it. You can see it in families who have young children. One day one kid will have it, and the next day the other kid. It can’t be what they ate if they come down with it 24–48 hours apart. It also runs through schools and work places.

shilolo's avatar

Those “flu“s rarely last only 24 hours. The typical viral gastroenteritis lasts 2–3 days. Those that spread via close contact (like norovirus) usually lead to symptoms for more than a few hours.

judymcb's avatar

sure. all viruses are different. and a great deal depends on the patient. rest your stomach, small sips of clear liquids etc. if you continue to eat and drink while vomitting, it could last alot longer!! typically food poisoning and stomach bugs are treated the same way, anyway.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
kathyaj's avatar

No, there really is NOT a 24 flu virus. Anything lasting 24 hours is bacterial and is mild food poisoning, or something you ingested that did not agree with you. Viruses don’t replicate to the point where you’ll even feel their presence for at least 18 – 72 hours, then the immune system has to eliminate them. Viruses take time. Bacteria multiply by the truckloads and very quickly, and are therefore recognized faster by the body and therefore can be eliminated from the GI tract in a day if not too toxic or too much was ingested. If not much was ingested, it may not cause symptoms until numerous amounts have replicated. That may take 12 hours or so, maybe more.

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