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Differentiating Between Food Poisoning and a Stomach VirusIf you are experiencing sudden stomach pain, nausea and/or diarrhea, there are generally two possible causes: food poisoning or stomach flu. Both of their symptoms are similar enough that it is difficult for you to tell the difference. However, the difference between food poisoning and stomach flu can determine whether someone may be liable for your medical expenses and suffering. Illinois has strict liability for food poisoning cases while catching a stomach virus usually falls out of the realm of liability. This is one reason why you should see a doctor, who can diagnose the cause of your sickness.

Catching the Stomach Flu vs. Contracting Food Poisoning

The “stomach flu” is not actually a strain of influenza but a gastrointestinal virus that inflames your digestive system. The virus is passed person-to-person by coming in contact with an infected person or surfaces they have contaminated. You can catch a stomach virus if an infected person is preparing your food, but it is more common to catch it from the people you interact with.

By contrast, you contract food poisoning strictly from ingesting food that contains bacteria or parasites. Because you know that unsafe food was the cause of your illness, it is easier to figure out which food was the likely source of the bacteria. Human negligence in storing or preparing food is often to blame for the contamination.

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When you find yourself running to the bathroom, clutching your abdomen in pain, and feeling lightheaded, nauseous, and simply lousy, you could be suffering from food poisoning. You could also be suffering from gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu. More than three million cases of gastroenteritis are reported in the United States each year. Like many types of food poisoning, its symptoms are easily self-treatable and often subside on their own after a few days.

Use the guidelines below to determine whether your illness is gastroenteritis or food poisoning. If your food poisoning was due to being sold or served contaminated food, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages through a food poisoning claim.

When Did your Symptoms Begin?

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