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Flu shot: Will it prevent the stomach flu?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/flu-shot/AN01778
- With Mayo Clinic internist
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.James Steckelberg, M.D.
Dr. James Steckelberg is a consultant in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
A native of Fremont, Neb., Dr. Steckelberg was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine as a resident in internal medicine and a fellow in infectious diseases, and is board certified in both. He is the former director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Steckelberg belongs to numerous professional organizations. He is a founding member of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has served on many Mayo Clinic committees and is a member of the Department of Medicine Leadership Committee and of the executive committee of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He also served on the editorial boards of "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" and "Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy" and has been an editorial reviewer for more than a dozen publications.
Dr. Steckelberg's research interests include experimental models of infection, epidemiology of infection, and antimicrobial resistance and therapy of bacterial infections.
Flu shot: Will it prevent the stomach flu?
I got the flu shot last year, but I still got the stomach flu. Why should I bother getting it again this year if it doesn't work?
from James M. Steckelberg, M.D.
The flu shot protects against influenza, which isn't the same thing as the stomach flu (gastroenteritis). Gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses, including rotaviruses and noroviruses. Although it is often called the stomach flu, it is not caused by influenza viruses.
Real flu (influenza) attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs — causing fever, muscle aches, coughing and congestion. Gastroenteritis, on the other hand, attacks your intestines causing signs and symptoms such as watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps.
No vaccine is available for gastroenteritis with the exception of two oral rotavirus vaccines — RotaTeq and Rotarix — for infants. However, you can reduce your risk of gastroenteritis by frequent and thorough hand-washing.
The annual flu vaccine is the most effective way to reduce your risk of getting influenza.Next question
Stomach flu: How long am I contagious?
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis among infants and children: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR. 2009;58:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5802a1.htm?s_cid=rr5802a1_e. Accessed Jan. 5, 2012.