Diagnosing & Treating the Stomach Flu Online

The stomach flu is one of the most commonly treated conditions on TelaCare. The stomach flu is an intestinal infection that spreads very easily. It's typically spread when one comes in contact with an infected person or through contaminated food or water. Doctors can help determine if you have gastroenteritis and if treatment is needed, or if a referral to a specialist is required.

During a video consult on TelaCare your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to stomach flu. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if this is needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history. The stomach flu can be spread many ways, so our doctors could ask questions intended to find the source of the illness.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks. If you have been diagnosed with the stomach flu, it is essential to prevent dehydration. Some tips for preventing dehydration, after getting diagnosed with the stomach flu, include:

  • Give a child an oral rehydration solution
  • Give an adult as much clear fluid as possible
  • Drink fluids slowly in frequent, small amounts

Note: To assess the severity of your infection the doctor may ask for your temperature, if possible it would be best to take your temperature before starting the call.

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Got Questions? We've got answers.

See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-317-0280 to speak to a medical professional about your symptoms or conditions.



 When should you call a doctor online?

Don’t wait weeks for an appointment. Our doctors, therapists, and specialists can help you with the flu, infections, anxiety, stress, skin conditions, and provide advice on medical conditions. No matter what you're facing, we’re available from wherever you are by phone, video, or app. You should call a doctor if any of the following occur:

  • Vomiting that lasts for longer than 1 day
  • Fever or severe diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • Vomit or diarrhea turns bloody or tarry

 How long does the flu last?

The flu typically lasts about one to two weeks. Severe symptoms will usually set in after two or three days. Symptoms of weakness, dry cough and fatigue can linger for three to seven days.


 How long is the stomach flu contagious?

Symptoms of gastroenteritis will usually appear one to three days after exposure. Although, you’re contagious before you develop symptoms and up to two weeks after you’ve recovered.

 Is my online doctor visit private and secure?

Yes, we feel it is of utmost importance to maintain patient privacy and keep information secure. TelaCare is designed to be a private, secure, HIPAA-compliant tool that allows you to safely and confidentially consult with a doctor online.


 Can I get a prescription online?

Yes, in general you can get a prescription online. There is support for this nationwide, however there are several exceptions. 


 What should you eat when you have the stomach flu?

There are many things that can be eaten to help with the stomach flu, but foods that are known to help alleviate symptoms include:

  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Toast

 Can medical forms like sick slips or doctors notes be provided?

Doctors on TelaCare are able to provide simple forms like sick slips or back to work/school documents as clinically appropriate. Be sure to request the documentation before ending your conversation. Please note that doctors on TelaCare are not able to provide more substantial documents like FMLA forms, disability forms or handicap/DMV documents as these documents require in in-person evaluation.

 What is the difference between the stomach flu and food poisoning?

Stomach flu and food poisoning are very similar conditions, while initial symptoms typically include fever and diarrhea. But a stomach virus can take 24 to 48 hours to develop and can have other symptoms, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach or intestinal cramps
  • Joint stiffness
  • Weight loss

Food poisoning symptoms can begin to develop 2 to 6 hours after food consumption and other symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Eye swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Thirst

 How much does an online doctor visit on TelaCare cost?

The cost of a visit is included in your membership, compared to the average national cost of $139 for an office visit or $645 for an emergency room visit, and may be even less as some employers have group plans with TelaCare. Contact your Human Resources department to see if your visit is covered with TelaCare. This cost does not include the cost of any prescriptions, follow-up lab work or follow-up visits if deemed applicable.

 Will I be charged more if I talk to a doctor on weekends, holidays or at night?

No. TelaCare offers 24/7/365 access no matter when you visit with the doctor, therapist or medical specialist.

 Can my kids see a doctor on TelaCare?

Children, under the age of 18, may be easily added to your TelaCare account. If your child is over the age of 18 then you can add them but they must complete their own profile and request consults on their own.

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