How to Identify Symptoms of a Stomach Virus

by Alicia Bodine

The scientific name for a stomach virus is viral gastroenteritis. Stomach viruses are known for disrupting the cells that line up your small intestine, which is what causes your stomach virus symptoms. There are four main types of stomach viruses to watch out for, including rotavirus, adenovirus, astrovirus and caliciviruses.

Note if you are experiencing vomiting. This is the most common symptom for any stomach virus, although by itself it can indicate many things. If your vomiting is severe, you may become dehydrated. See your doctor immediately if this happens.

Observe if you are experiencing diarrhea. This is the second most common stomach virus symptom. Excessive diarrhea can also lead to dehydration, so contact your doctor if it goes on too long.

Identify if you are having cramping. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, it may feel like a cramping or it may be an upset stomach sensation. It can leave you feeling nauseous even if you are not vomiting. If your stomach pain is sharp, or piercing, seek medical attention immediately because this may be a sign of something more serious.

Take your temperature and see if you have a fever. Not all stomach viruses cause a fever, but it is a common symptom. Take some acetaminophen for the fever if you are not vomiting.

Take a look at all of your symptoms combined to identify whether you have a stomach virus. If, after reflection, you still aren't sure, it is wise to get a medical opinion.

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  • Dehydration should be treated with IV fluids with help from a doctor.
  • Give your child ice pops to help keep him hydrated during a stomach bug.
  • Get as much rest as you can while ill.


  • Antibiotics won't work against the stomach virus, so don't take any.
  • Stay away from dairy products until your stomach virus passes.

About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

Photo Credits

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