Viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu is an infection that causes inflammation of the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Stomach flu is not the same as influenza (commonly called the flu). Influenza is a respiratory infection while viral gastroenteritis affects the stomach and intestines.
Stomach flu can often be cared for at home. If the stomach flu becomes a serious health concern, an emergency department at Dignity Health Southern California can offer quality care. If you prefer to wait at home, you can use our online waiting tool InQuicker. Schedule your estimated arrival time and come to the ER when the doctor is ready to see you.
Symptoms of Stomach Flu & When to See a Doctor
Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea are common signs of stomach flu. You may also experience chills, fever, headaches, and abdominal pain. You should always seek emergency care for severe stomach flu symptoms, such as high fever, bloody diarrhea or vomit, severe abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than two days, or an inability to keep down liquids.
Many people also experience symptoms of dehydration, as constant vomiting and diarrhea causes a rapid loss of body fluid. Dehydration is a serious complication of stomach flu that requires prompt medical care.
Visit your nearest emergency department for signs of dehydration, including:
- Dark urine
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- No wet diapers for three hours
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears with crying
- Sunken eyes, cheeks, or soft spots
Treating Stomach Virus at Dignity Health Southern California
After diagnosing a stomach virus, your emergency care doctor will recommend treatment that cures and prevents dehydration. You will need to drink plenty of fluids, such as water, sports drinks, or broth. We focus on healing that’s best for you, so your doctor may suggest sucking on ice chips if it’s difficult to drink large amounts. Before you go home, you will have all the information you need to quickly recover from the stomach flu.
Turn to Dignity Health Southern California to get fast, personalized treatment for the stomach virus at out convenient locations in Camarillo, Glendale, Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Oxnard, and in Inland Empire cities San Bernardino, Fontana, and Highland.
Emergency specialists at Dignity Health provide prompt care for the stomach flu in Southern California.