'Tis the season for rampant stomach viruses, known as gastroenteritis, which can lead to a host of miserable symptoms. While there is no shortcut to recovery as the virus passes through your body, an expert reveals a few ways to help the process along.

"This bug goes by a lot of names," said US family physician Dr. Christopher Zipp in a January 7 news release. "But whether you call it a stomach flu, a vomiting virus or any other name, the fact is that if you get it you are going to feel badly for a few days."

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and head and muscle aches are all part of the fun-filled package. And while the virus itself isn't usually a serious health threat, it can cause complications such as dehydration, which is especially dangerous for young children and the elderly, he stated.

How to survive the stomach flu? He offers the following tried-and-true recommendations:

  1. Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. Water or half-strength juices are best. Avoid soda or sports drinks.
  2. Get plenty of rest.
  3. Take over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers for fever and body aches.
  4. Stay home until fully recovered. Sick people may continue to be contagious for up to 72 hours after they feel well again.
  5. Wash your hands often, toss used tissues, and wash soiled bed linens and clothes separately from other laundry.

"Keep in mind that this illness is caused by a virus. Antibiotics, which work against bacterial infections, will not help you to recover," Dr. Zipp added.

Learn more: http://www.medicinenet.com/gastroenteritis/article.htm

Stomach flu or influenza? Find out: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/stomach-flu-not-influenza

Watch: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgfoun_getting-through-the-stomach-flu-how-can-i-take-care-of-myself-when-i-have-the-stomach-fluy_lifestyle