Tuesday, February 27, 2024

How Does Stomach Flu Spread

Will I Catch The Stomach Bug From My Child

Natural Winter Illness Remedies : How Is a Stomach Flu Spread?

The stomach flu is also very contagious. If one child has it, chances are you and/or other children in your house will be sharing it within the week. Other kinds of gastrointestinal infections are caused by bacteria. This includes food poisoning, which has slightly different symptoms than the stomach flu.

How Do You Avoid Getting The Stomach Flu When Your Family Has It

The best way to protect against norovirus is to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure that you rinse off all fresh fruits and vegetables before you eat them. If youre at all concerned about norovirus infection, make sure youre also cooking these foods thoroughly.

How Does Stomach Flu Or Viral Gastroenteritis Spread

Stomach Flu or Viral Gastroenteritis is an extremely contagious disease and it spreads like wildfire. It can spread by vomitus or feces of the affected individual: It can also spread through direct contact with the infected individual like a cordial handshake as he or she may have the virus in the hands. The virus can also spread by using objects or utensils used by the affected individual which may be contaminated like spoons, forks etc. Sharing food with an affected individual can cause the virus to spread The most vulnerable individual to get the disease is the one who is close to an affected individual especially for the first couple of days after recovery.

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Why Do Stomach Bugs Start At Night

Why does stomach flu hit at night? In some people, the stomach flu symptoms may be more pronounced at night due to their circadian rhythm. At night an increase in immune system activity releases infection-fighting chemicals. These can cause inflammation that make you feel worse as you battle your flu.

What Are Treatments For Stomach Flu Or Viral Gastroenteritis

Blood In Stool Flu

Since Stomach Flu or Viral Gastroenteritis is a self limiting disease condition, there is no specific treatment for it. Antibiotics cannot be used as they are ineffective against viruses and if they are overused then they can cause development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Medications can be given for control of diarrhea but usually self measures are of big help in resolving the symptoms.

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How Is It Spread

Noroviruses are very contagious. They are found in the stool or vomit of infected people. From there, noroviruses are transferred to food, water, or surfaces by the hands of infected people who have not washed adequately after using the bathroom.

People become infected with norovirus by:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids contaminated by an infected person.
  • Eating uncooked shellfish that has been harvested from contaminated waters.
  • Touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching their mouth or eating without washing their hands first.

What Causes Stomach Flu

In most cases stomach flu symptoms are caused by a virus. This is why you may hear some people refer to stomach virus symptoms.

There are a few different viruses which could be to blame but the commonest culprits are:

  • Norovirus – This is also known as the winter vomiting bug as it is more common in winter. This appears to come on suddenly and is known for its violent and projectile vomiting.
  • Astrovirus – tends to be milder than the other viruses
  • Rotavirus – mostly seen in babies and the under fives
  • Adenovirus – common in young children

The only way to tell exactly which virus is causing your stomach flu symptoms is to send a stool sample to the lab for testing. Quick stool tests are available for Norovirus and Rotavirus but the other viruses take longer to test for.

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How Does The Stomach Flu Spread

While you can get many of the same symptoms from eating contaminated food , most cases of the stomach flu are passed from person to person. Food poisoning is not spread person to person.

The viruses that cause this type of illness are among the most contagious viruses that we have on the planet, says Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Medical Center in Nashville. The reason theyre so contagious is that some of them are spread through contact.

Contact could mean breathing in airborne germs after someone vomits or coughs. Or it could mean shaking hands with someone who is sick, eating food prepared or served by someone who is sick, or touching a surface or dirty utensils contaminated with viral particles from vomit or even stool. Children are known for putting their fingers and all kinds of other objects into their mouths, but even grabbing your trusty iPhone and then touching your face could provide a convenient entry point for the germs.

We can clean our hands, but if we put our phone down on every surface, our clean hands are no longer clean, Dr. Fisher says. This can be an especially risky practice in public spaces like airports.

An estimated 9% to 25% of mobile devices are contaminated with a disease-causing organism, adds Dr. Fisher. Wipe your devices down at least daily, and keep washing your hands on the regular.

How Long Does The Stomach Flu Last

Stomach Flu (Gastroenteritis ): How is the stomach flu spread? Is it contagious?

For contagious causes of stomach flu, many individuals have symptoms that last about 2 to 5 days, after which the symptoms tend to resolve. Once the symptoms resolve, an individual may be considered “cured” of stomach flu. However, it’s not unusual for that same individual to develop stomach flu again at some point in time if they are exposed to other causes, or in some individuals, the same infectious cause. Occasionally, the stomach flu “symptoms” progress and goes on to become another more severe disease .

Many people get contagious stomach flu from different causes, but in general, they recover from the infection in about 2 to 5 days and usually do not contact a health-care professional. Most doctors consider gastroenteritis to be a self-limiting disease. Unfortunately some people, especially the elderly, young children, and individuals that have multiple medical problems may develop more severe symptoms. Consequently, people should contact their health-care professional or emergency department if one or more the following occurs:

  • Gastroenteritis symptoms that last more than five days
  • The intensity of the symptoms increases
  • A fever above 101 F or 38.3 C

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A Flu Shot Won’t Help

Um, no. It has nothing to do with the flu, remember?

The flu is influenza, a virus that circulates the globe each year attacking the nose and throat as it spreads through communities in waves. Flu shots protect against that virusbut not ones that cause viral gastroenteritis, which is characterized by inflammation of the stomach and intestines, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If youre confused, youre not the only one. Some symptoms overlap, like body aches, nausea, and low-grade fever, says Gary Rogg, MD, an internist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

But a flu shot definitely won’t protect against stomach bugs. There’s no such thing as a stomach flu shot, at least not for grown-ups.

Can You Work With A Stomach Virus

Preventing gastroenteritis Its not always possible to avoid getting gastroenteritis, but following the advice below can help stop it spreading: Stay off work, school or nursery until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed. You or your child should also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.

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How Is Stomach Flu Diagnosed

Healthcare providers often can diagnose stomach flu from your symptoms. But your provider may want to rule out other illnesses with some tests:

  • Stool samples: Tests look for bacteria, viruses or parasites in your stool
  • Sigmoidoscopy: A doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera from the anus into the lower large intestine to look for signs of inflammatory bowel disease. The sigmoidoscopy is a 15-minute procedure that doesnt usually require sedation.

My Stomach Flu Disaster Holiday In Turkey

Stomach flu  there is no such thing

When our kids were about 10 and 12 we decided to try an all inclusive holiday in Turkey. All inclusive sounds very seductive as everything, all meals, drinks and snacks are included in the price. Unfortunately a few days into the holiday we all came down with awful stomach flu symptoms. The holiday was completely ruined and the resort doctor was kept very busy!

We have never been on an all inclusive holiday since, nor indeed can I bring myself to go back to Turkey at the moment. I think the problem lay with the mass catered buffet style food and probably less than perfect hygiene standards behind the scenes.

That does not mean that all mass catering or all inclusive holidays are bad but you are more at risk of coming down with gastric flu symptoms in these situations.

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What Steps Can I Take To Reduce My Risk

Strict hand washing after using the bathroom and before handling food items is important in preventing the spread of the virus, because it continues to be present in the stool for as long as two to three weeks after the person feels better. One excellent way to prevent spreading the virus to others is daily wiping of doorknobs, faucets and commodes with a mild bleach solution made of one cup of bleach in nine cups of water. Care should be used to keep the solution off your skin and away from fabrics that may be damaged by the bleach. Family members should use separate hand towels for two to three weeks after symptoms go away.

People should keep in mind that the virus is easy to avoid with careful and frequent hand washing. Refrain from chewing on your fingernails, pencils or pens. Don’t even unwrap a piece of candy or gum without first washing your hands.

Stomach Flu Symptoms Or Gastric Flu Symptoms What’s In A Name

What’s in a name? Well many of us use the name stomach flu and some of us say gastric flu but these are both names to describe what doctors call gastroenteritis. The type of gastroenteritis which usually causes stomach flu symptoms is viral gastroenteritis although occasionally bacterial gastroenteritis such as salmonella can cause flu like symptoms.

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For Infants And Children

When your child has an intestinal infection, the most important goal is to replace lost fluids and salts. These suggestions may help:

  • Help your child rehydrate. Give your child an oral rehydration solution, available at pharmacies without a prescription. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about how to use it. Don’t give your child plain water in children with gastroenteritis, water isn’t absorbed well and won’t adequately replace lost electrolytes. Avoid giving your child apple juice for rehydration it can make diarrhea worse.
  • Get your child back to a normal diet slowly. Gradually introduce bland, easy-to-digest foods, such as toast, rice, bananas and potatoes.
  • Avoid certain foods. Don’t give your child dairy products or sugary foods, such as ice cream, sodas and candy. These can make diarrhea worse.
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest. The illness and dehydration may have made your child weak and tired.
  • Avoid giving your child over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications, unless advised by your doctor. They can make it harder for your child’s body to eliminate the virus.

If you have a sick infant, let your baby’s stomach rest for 15 to 20 minutes after vomiting or a bout of diarrhea, then offer small amounts of liquid. If you’re breast-feeding, let your baby nurse. If your baby is bottle-fed, offer a small amount of an oral rehydration solution or regular formula. Don’t dilute your baby’s already-prepared formula.

How Do People Become Infected With Norovirus

The Best Way To Keep The Stomach Bug From Spreading, According To a Doctor

This infection spreads through whats known as fecal-oral transmission. This means that the virus is shed after you have a bowel movement. Then, something as simple as not washing your hands well enough can spread the virus to others, either directly or by touching and contaminating surfaces. People can also get norovirus from exposure to contaminated foods, particularly leafy greens and fresh fruits as well as oysters and other shellfish. If someone with norovirus is throwing up, they could also spread the infection through tiny airborne droplets that contain viral particles.

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Gastroenteritis Or Stomach Virus

Disease: Gastroenteritis or the stomach flu is an illness of the stomach and intestines. Most of the time the illness is caused by a virus.

It is NOT the same as influenza or the flu. Influenza is a different virus, and it does not cause gastroenteritis. The flu is a respiratory infection involving the lungs.

Transmission/Incubation: Symptoms usually begin about 24 to 48 hours after infection, but they can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure.

Gastroenteritis can spread easily from person to person. Both stool and vomit are infectious. Particular care should be taken with young children in diapers who may have diarrhea. It can also be spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

People with gastroenteritis are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least 3 days after recovery.

Symptoms: The illness often begins suddenly, but it is brief, lasting 1 or 2 days in most cases. Occasionally it can last as long as 10 days. The infected person may have the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Tiredness

Treatment: Currently, there is no antibiotic treatment available and there is no vaccine to prevent infection. The influenza vaccine or flu shot will not protect a person from gastroenteritis, since the influenza virus does not cause gastroenteritis.

Prevention: You can decrease your chance of becoming ill with gastroenteritis or passing it on to others by following these preventive steps.


What Causes Viral Gastroenteritis

Several viruses can cause gastroenteritis. Viruses can be found in the vomit and the diarrhea of infected people. It can live for a long time outside the body. People who are infected can spread the virus to objects they touch, especially if they dont wash their hands after using the bathroom. Food workers with the infection can spread it to others through food and beverages. Sewage that gets into the water supply can also spread the illness. Although viral gastroenteritis is sometimes called “stomach flu,” the seasonal influenza virus does not cause it.

Some of the common viruses that cause gastroenteritis include:

  • Rotavirus. This virus most commonly infects infants age 3 to 15 months. The illness lasts for 3 to 7 days and is most common in fall and winter.
  • Norovirus. This is the most common cause of adult infections and the virus thats usually responsible for outbreaks on cruise ships. Symptoms last from 1 to 3 days and can occur any time of the year.
  • Adenovirus. This virus occurs year-round and affects children under age 2. Symptoms last from 5 to 12 days.

Many other viruses can also cause viral gastroenteritis.

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If Someone Is Vomiting Or Having Diarrhea When Does Dehydration Become A More Serious Concern

Its definitely important to be on the lookout for signs of dehydration. Its probably why most people with norovirus end up in the emergency department or at their doctor’s office. Norovirus can prevent people from keeping food and fluids down. But if things keep coming out and people cant put anything back in, theyre not able to replenish the fluid they lost.

Symptoms of dehydration include having a dry mouth or dry, shriveled skin. Little kids may seem to be crying but no tears are coming out. When babies or toddlers are having half the number of wet diapers than they normally have or fewer, well be concerned about dehydration especially if theyre also unusually sleepy or fussy. Older kids and adults can tell if theyre getting dehydrated by checking the color of their urine. If it’s a clear to a light straw yellow, that means you’re probably still well-hydrated. Having dark yellow or an orangey or amber-colored urine is a sign that you’re getting dehydrated. Other warning signs of dehydration include listlessness, dizziness or lightheadedness.

What Are The Symptoms Of Norovirus


Common stomach flu symptoms are diarrhea or constipation, fever, nausea and/or vomiting, stomach or intestinal cramps, joint stiffness, and weight loss . They might not hit you immediately after you’re infected with a gastrointestinal virus, but typically develop gradually, over one or two days, Dr. Madanick explains.

On the other hand, food poisoning tends to strike fast and hardwithin a few hours after you’re exposed to the offending substanceand symptoms tend to be more dramatic, such as explosive vomiting and diarrhea.

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Symptoms Of Viral Gastroenteritis

The main signs and symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills

Symptoms may be mild or more severe and may vary depending on the particular virus. They tend to develop quickly. Worried you may have gastroenteritis? Start a free symptom assessment now.

If symptoms are severe or do not begin to improve within 2-3 days, it is important to contact a doctor without delay. Furthermore, medical attention should be sought immediately if:

  • There are any indications of serious dehydration, such as passing little to no urine or dizziness that does not go away
  • There is blood, pus or a black color in the diarrhea
  • There is constant vomiting that makes it impossible to keep down fluids
  • There is very intense abdominal pain
  • There is a fever over 38 degrees Celsius , in adults or children

In addition, a doctor should be contacted urgently if the affected person:

  • Has recently returned from overseas travel
  • Is pregnant
  • Adenovirus
  • Sapovirus

The viruses can be transmitted easily from one person to another through close contact, for example by touching a person with viral gastroenteritis and then touching oneâs mouth, or sharing food, cutlery or towels with the person. Another route of transmission is touching a contaminated surface or object, such as a doorknob, counter or changing table and then touching oneâs mouth. Infection can also occur through the consumption of contaminated food and drinks, such as in the case of:

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