Difference Between Flu and Food Poisoning

Key difference - flu vs. food poisoning

Flu and food poisoning are common illnesses or illnesses that disrupt our daily lives. The main difference between the flu and food poisoning is that the flu mainly affects a person's respiratory tract, while food poisoning affects the gastrointestinal tract.

This article examines

1. What is the flu? - cause, signs and symptoms, treatment

2. What is food poisoning? - cause, signs and symptoms, treatment

3. What is the difference between the flu and food poisoning? Difference Between Flu And Food Poisoning - Comparison Summary

What is the flu?

Influenza, also called influenza , is usually thought of as a respiratory illness caused by a virus. This can affect your entire respiratory system, including your nose, throat, and lungs, which can ultimately be catastrophic if not treated properly.

According to the latest WHO research, more than 5% of people fall ill with the flu every year, of which more than 200,000 have to be hospitalized for flu-related complications.

Signs and symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Moderate to high fever
  • headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Chills and sweats
  • Dry cough
  • Stuffy nose
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (if complications with stomach flu or gastroenteritis)


Treatment for flu for a viral agent includes well-hydrated hydration and rest. The disease heals spontaneously within about a week without leaving any residual symptoms.

Key difference - flu vs. food poisoning

What is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning, also known as travelers' diarrhea , is caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are known to disrupt the anatomy and physiology of the intestinal tract in our bodies.

According to research, about 1 in 6 people in the United States will develop food poisoning with approximately 120,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year. In this case, the morbidity and mortality associated with food poisoning appear to be comparatively higher than for other infections.

root cause

The most common cause of this disease is consumption of foods contaminated with toxic products created by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The improper handling of food and the ingestion of contaminated food can easily lead to various types of disorders in our body, which eventually lead to signs and symptoms when the exposure to pathogens exceeds the tolerable level in the body.


  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Salmonella
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Escherichia coli


  • Hepatitis A
  • Rota virus

Signs and symptoms

Most of the patients affected by food poisoning will

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Moderate to high fever


Characteristics of the treatment of food poisoning are the killing of the responsible pathogen with antibiotics (bacteria) and the symptomatic treatment. It is always necessary to correct dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities to avoid complications.


Food poisoning prevention is easy when you follow these simple steps in handling, cooking, and storing food.

  • Wash and clean your hands before preparing and serving meals.
  • Wash all cutting boards, utensils, ingredients, and food before use.
  • Avoid Cross-Contamination - Always try to minimize contamination of raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from pre-cooked foods, which is a proven way to stop the spread of pathogens.
  • Use the correct temperatures for cooking food, especially meat. High temperatures can usually kill harmful bacteria
  • Immediate cooling - this will always slow or minimize the growth of harmful bacteria (preferably below 40 ° F) Difference Between Flu and Food Poisoning

Difference Between Flu and Food Poisoning


Influenza , also known as influenza, is usually thought of as a respiratory illness caused by a virus.

Food poisoning, or traveler's diarrhea, is caused by a variety of bacterial pathogens, viruses, and parasites that are known to disrupt the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract.


The main etiology of the flu is the influenza virus

Food poisoning can occur as a result of various bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections.

Signs and symptoms

The main signs and symptoms of the flu are moderate to high fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and sweats, dry cough, nasal congestion, weakness and fatigue.

The main symptoms of food poisoning are high fever and stomach problems such as nausea, vomiting, and loose stools.


The flu isn't as severe as food poisoning , especially if it was caused by a bacterial pathogen. It could lead to potentially fatal consequences such as dehydration, coma, confusion, and death.


Both flu and food poisoning can be treated symptomatically. Patients with nausea should be treated with fluid replacement and correction of electrolyte imbalances. Paracetemol should be given to patients with a fever, followed by antibiotic treatment after the exact etiology has been established.

Image courtesy:

"Sneeze" by Tina Franklin (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“Symptoms-Stomach-Pain” by CDC (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the author: admin