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Health Is Wealth: What is the 24 Hour Flu?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Influenza — also known as the flu — is a contagious respiratory disease that can cause a mild to severe illness in patients. The normal course of illness runs from one to two weeks, on average. With that said, people have experienced a 24-hour variety of the illness. Many people think they are experiencing the 24-hour flu, actually have a pathogen that mimics flu symptoms in addition to diarrhea or nausea. So, what is the 24-hour flu? Is it real? Or is it another pathogen that mimics flu-like symptoms?

In order to understand what the 24 Hour Flu is and what’s causing your discomfort, you must understand your symptoms. That way you can find the right treatment for you. Could it be something totally different: gastroenteritis or even food poisoning?

Keep reading to learn more about potential causes for your discomfort: Is it influenza, food poisoning, gastroenteritis caused by the norovirus, or some other bug?

24 Hour Flu General Information

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza symptoms or the 24 Hour flu can range from:

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Basic symptoms of the 24 hour flu
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle and/or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fever or chills
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fatigue
  • Certain people may also experience vomiting and/or diarrhea –Yet this happens to be much more common in children than adults
Influenza, in most cases, will not cause diarrhea or nausea. In contrast with the stomach flu which is a form of gastroenteritis in which there’s an irritation of the stomach and/or intestinal lining., this discomfort will normally take the form of diarrhea and/or nausea/vomiting. You can use herbs or essential oils to alleviate the unpleasant discomfort caused by these symptoms.

So, it’s important to know and understand your own symptoms in order to understand which particular malady you are dealing with. Thus, recovery times will tend to run anywhere from a few days up to around two weeks.

So, what is 24 hour flu? Does it actually exist or is it some other form of bug which successfully mimics flu-like symptoms? Let’s take a look at a few other options below.

Clostridium Perfringens

Also known as food poisoning, Clostridium perfringens can make its presence felt a few hours after ingesting poorly cooked food. One may experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
These 24-hour symptoms usually occur within 6-24 hours, but most times they will begin around 8-12 hours after ingestion. It normally lasts less than 24 hours, and in most cases, vomiting and fever are not usually associated with it, according to the CDC. 


According to the Minnesota Department of Health, many instances of the purported “24-hour flu” or “24-hour cold” are simply cases of norovirus outbreaks. It is a contagious virus — a person can get norovirus from different sources. For example, you can get it from contaminated food, water, surfaces, or people — this virus causes gastroenteritis, which is the inflammation of the stomach and/or small and large intestines.

It’s important to note that norovirus isn’t related to influenza at all. Apparently, this is called “food poisoning” or “stomach virus,” symptoms of norovirus may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Throwing up
  • Stomach pain
Stomach pain symptom of Novo Virus
Dehydration is a main concern, especially true in young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Meaning to say, the timetable for getting better is usually anywhere from 1 to 3 days. Rehydrate by drinking a lot of water.

Thus, it’s better to call it a 24-hour bug. With a wide-range of potential causes — depending upon which symptoms you are experiencing — maybe the shorter variety of illness is actually better to have — and get over — than some of these longer variations. Take some solace in that, at least. You should feel better in no time.

Resources: Flu Symptoms&Severity. The Real Deal on the 24-Hour Flu.

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