Does Using Hand Sanitizer Offer Protection Against Norovirus
In this day and age, we all love our hand sanitizer because it’s so easy and convenient, but alcohol does not kill norovirus. So, just using hand sanitizer actually won’t stop it from spreading. Norovirus can also withstand freezing temperatures, heat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and disinfection with cleaners that just contain chlorine. When it comes to preventing norovirus, cleaning with bleach is the recommendation.
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 âstomach flu,â 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.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Rest your stomach and intestines by following the suggested guidelines for your diet during the illness, but make sure you prevent dehydration by drinking enough liquids. Drink just small amounts or sips while you are having vomiting.
- Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines without checking first with your healthcare provider.
- Your symptoms are getting worse.
- You keep having severe symptoms for more than 1 or 2 days, or you are just not getting better after a few days.
- You start having symptoms that are not usually caused by stomach flu, such as blood in your vomit, bloody diarrhea, or severe abdominal pain.
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How To Get Stomach Flu Treatment
Millions of people get the stomach flu each year in the United States. Symptoms come on quickly and can include watery diarrhea, pain or cramping in your abdomen, to nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever. Known as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu is a highly contagious intestinal infection that is unfortunately not affected by normal flu vaccines.
Although difficult to deal with, stomach flu typically goes away in a few days without any further complications. However for infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune symptoms, the stomach flu can be dangerous. There is no specific treatment for stomach flu, so its important to stay hydrated and rest while allowing the flu to run its course. There are however, some at-home remedies that can lessen symptoms and make things slightly easier .
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Rule Out Medical Conditions
In some cases, bloating may result from a medical condition. To get rid of this bloating, a person may need help from a doctor to diagnose and manage their condition.
Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, may cause people to experience bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome , can also cause this symptom.
Gynecological conditions, such as endometriosis and ovarian cysts, can also cause pain, swelling, and feelings of bloating in the abdominal area.
People with these symptoms should discuss them with a doctor, who will also want to know about any relevant family medical history and other medical conditions. The doctor may order diagnostic tests to look for any problems. These may include an X-ray, ultrasound, colonoscopy, or blood tests.
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How Gastroenteritis Is Spread
The bugs that cause gastroenteritis can spread very easily from person to person.
You can catch the infection if small particles of vomit or poo from an infected person get into your mouth, such as through:
- close contact with someone with gastroenteritis they may breathe out small particles of vomit
- touching contaminated surfaces or objects
- eating contaminated food this can happen if an infected person doesn’t wash their hands before handling food, or you eat food that has been in contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, or hasn’t been stored and cooked at the correct temperatures
A person with gastroenteritis is most infectious from when their symptoms start until 48 hours after all their symptoms have passed, although they may also be infectious for a short time before and after this.
How Is Gastroenteritis Treated
There is no specific treatment for gastroenteritis, and most kids can be treated at home. Keep your child hydrated by offering plenty of liquids. Kids with more severe dehydration may need treatment in the ER or hospital.
Mild dehydration is treated with oral rehydration. This usually includes giving oral rehydration solution . It has the right amounts of water, sugar, and salt to help with dehydration. You can buy it without a prescription at drugstores or supermarkets. If you cant get oral rehydration solution, talk to your doctor.
If your child has mild dehydration and your doctor says its OK to start treatment at home:
- Give your child an oral electrolyte solution as often as possible. If your child throws up, start with small sips, about 1 or 2 teaspoons every few minutes.
- Babies can continue to breastfeed or take formula as long as they are not throwing up repeatedly.
- Dont give babies plain water instead of oral rehydration solution. It doesnt have the right nutrients for babies with dehydration.
- Older children can have frozen electrolyte popsicles.
- Do not give your child full-strength juice , soda, or sports drinks. These have a lot of sugar, which can make diarrhea worse.
When your child stops vomiting, you can offer small amounts of solid foods, such as toast, crackers, rice, or mashed potatoes. Yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, like chicken, are also OK.
Dont give medicines for diarrhea or vomiting unless your doctor tells you to.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Stomach cramps are common and generally harmless, but there are times when your symptoms warrant medical attention.
- Cramps that last a week or longer
- Pain that lasts longer than 24 hours, is increasingly severe, or is accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting
- Bloating for more than two days
- Burning sensation when you pee and/or frequent urination
- Diarrhea that lasts for five days or more
- Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Persistent lack of appetite
- Are being treated for cancer
- Cannot pass stool, especially if you are also throwing up
- Are vomiting blood or have bloody stools
- Have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
- Have sudden, sharp stomach pain
- Have pain in between your shoulder blades
- Notice your belly is hard or tender
- Are pregnant or may be pregnant
- Have recently been injured in your abdomen
- Have trouble breathing
When Should I Call The Doctor
- cant drink for several hours
- is peeing less often
- has signs of dehydration, such as crying with few or no tears, having a dry mouth or cracked lips, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, acting very sleepy or less alert
- has a high fever
- has blood in their poop or vomit
- is vomiting for more than 24 hours or the diarrhea doesnt get better after several days
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Why Are Studies On Probiotics Inconsistent
There are many factors that can affect the outcome of studies on probiotics, including:
- Study design: Many studies on probiotics are preliminary. This means they often involve a low number of participants, making it hard to determine whether the results apply to the general population. Some also do not differentiate between viral and bacterial infections or look at how probiotics are affecting the microbiome.
- Age: Childrens microbiomes are still developing, whereas adults microbiomes are more stable. This may explain why some studies find using probiotics is more beneficial for children, as the probiotics may have a bigger impact on developing microbiomes.
- Specific strains: Scientists are still learning how specific strains of bacteria and viruses affect one another. Some probiotic species may be very effective at treating certain viruses, and others may not.
- Individuality: Everyone has a unique mix of bacteria, fungi, and viruses in their digestive tract. This unique combination of species can mean each person responds differently to probiotics.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health does not recommend using probiotics as sole treatment for a medical condition or to delay seeking medical attention, as this carries several risks.
The Food and Drug Administration only regulates some probiotics. Any probiotic that is a general dietary supplement is not FDA regulated and therefore has not undergone testing for safety or purity.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
Viral gastroenteritis is common in children and adults. In most cases, the disease is not serious and will run its course in a few days. Call your healthcare provider if you or a family member has vomiting or diarrhea thats not getting better, if you see blood or tar-like stool, or if you have any signs of dehydration.
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What Stomach Infection Medicine For Kids Will Doctors Recommend
When the situation worsens, doctors will first examine the patient to determine the cause before prescribing a stomach infection medicine for a child or toddler. Do not self-administer antibacterial medications because they will not work on viruses. If it is a virus, there is no targeted treatment and the doctors will prescribe pain relievers to help the child stay comfortable through recovery. Also, avoid any type of anti-nausea or antidiarrheal medication as both vomiting and diarrhoea can help flush out the virus. For certain infections, antibiotics may be prescribed by doctors.
Treatment For Stomach Flu
If youve caught the stomach flu but are otherwise healthy, its unlikely youll need to seek medical advice. The best thing you can do for yourself is do the following:
- Stay at home this is important to limit the spread the infection and to ensure youre getting plenty of rest.
- Drink fluids diarrhoea and fever can lead to dehydration. Make sure youre drinking plenty of water. For faster improvements, try adding rehydration sachets.
- Take over-the-counter pain relief paracetamol can be used for pain relief and reducing fever. Make sure to always read the label.
- Eat plain food its important to keep your energy up with regular meals. Avoid spices or intense flavours. Instead, try plain pasta or rice dishes.
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Listen To A Hypnotherapy Recording
Hypnosis has strong research support for easing the symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain. Ideally, you want to be engaged in an ongoing hypnotherapy treatment program for best results. But when you are in immediate pain, you may be able to benefit from the relaxation of listening to a gut-directed hypnosis tape.
The quickest way is to download an app on your smartphone or other mobile device. There are quite a few IBS-specific hypnotherapy apps available. Yet, its best to find one thats backed by research, like Nerva.
In most cases, viral gastroenteritis doesnt need to be treated by a healthcare provider. Home remedies, like getting plenty of fluids and eating a bland diet, can treat symptoms until the illness passes. For people who have a digestive disease or another serious illness, however, seeking advice from a healthcare provider might be needed to avoid complications.
Diarrhea or vomiting that lasts more than a few days, contains blood or mucus, is black or looks like coffee grounds, or causes severe pain, is a reason to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can Newborns Get Stomach Bug
Parents usually wonder if their newborns can get a stomach bug. Well, there are rare cases of stomach bug in infants. These tiny tots are less exposed to viruses and bacteria since most of the time they stay indoors. However, these organisms can still enter your home through several carriers including an older sibling who attends school or adults who work in offices. When this happens, vigilance is the only key.
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Caring For A Child With The Stomach Bug
Thankfully, most norovirus infections only last about a day or two . Plus, the primary treatment for a child with a GI virus focuses on rehydration, which you can do at home.
While kids are sick, its important to:
- Keep them hydrated. An infant can continue to breastfeed or drink formula. An older child can drink clear liquids as well as an over-the-counter oral rehydration fluid to replace key electrolytes.
- Make sure theyre urinating. Babies should continue having close to the usual number of wet diapers. If that number drops in the space of a few hours, this is the earliest sign of dehydration.
- Watch for behavior clues that indicate dehydration. A baby or older child who seems more drowsy than usual may be suffering the early signs of dehydration unusual sleepiness is a later sign.
Wondering when its time to take your child in for care? Or whether your child has something other than a stomach virus? Dr. Sammons says to call your pediatrician if:
- Diarrhea or vomiting continues to get worse.
- Your child also has a fever that lasts more than three days.
- Your child has not urinated at least once during every eight- to 12-hour period.
- Your childs lips and mouth look dry.
- Your child has no tears when crying.
- You see blood in your childs stool.
- Your child has severe abdominal pain.
- Your child is very sleepy all the time.
- You have any concerns.
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How Long Do Flu Germs Live On Hands
Theres not much evidence about how long flu germs can live on hands, but one study found that they only live for a few minutes. Most experts think flu spreads mainly through droplets released when infected people cough, sneeze or talk, which then get into the noses or mouths of people nearby. You should wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitiser to help stop the spread of germs.
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Treatment For The Stomach Flu
Most babies and kids wont need treatment for the stomach flu. Theres no specific treatment for the viruses that cause it.
Unless your doctor recommends it, dont give your child antidiarrheal and anti-nausea medications. Although it doesnt seem like it, some diarrhea and throwing up can be good because its part of getting rid of the virus.
Your doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to make your child more comfortable.
You can give babies over the age of 6 months pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Ask your pediatrician about the exact dosage. Too much pain relief medication can make babies ill.
Never give aspirin to babies and children. Aspirin and children dont mix. It can lead to a condition called Reyes syndrome.
Several home remedies can help make your baby or child more comfortable while dealing with the stomach flu.
- Let the stomach settle. Avoid feeding your baby or child solid food for a few hours.
- Give older children frozen juice treats or ice chips. This helps to prevent dehydration.
- If your baby is throwing up, wait 15 to 20 minutes before giving them any liquids. Try nursing your baby if they want to feed. Drinking milk may help hydrate your baby its OK if they throw up some or all of it right after.
- Try using as syringe to give babies small amounts of liquids if they dont want to nurse or bottle feed.
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How Long Will Stomach Flu Last
Depending on the virus and your childâs immune system, the stomach flu can last anywhere from just a day or two to around 10 days. âChildren tend to throw up for just the first day or two, but diarrhea can last more than a week,â says David B. Nelson, M.D., chair and professor of pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.
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Does Medicine Help The Stomach Flu
Though you may want to give your child a medicine to help with stomach flu symptoms, Dr. Rojas recommends against it. Because the stomach flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help.
“Usually we just need to let the virus run its own course,” says Dr. Rojas. “Trying to take medications can prolong symptoms and make them worse.”
Dr. Rojas says the only exception to the no-medicine rule is the appropriate dose of acetaminophen if your child has a fever.
Remedies For Little Ones
As terrible as it is to get the stomach flu yourself, it is even harder to watch your child go through it. If your infants symptoms havent subsided in a day or two, take them to the doctor.
Their doctor can make sure your child is on their way to recovery without any complications. They can also check to make sure there are no other causes for their symptoms.
Encouraging children to continue to take sips of water to replace lost fluids is important to prevent dehydration. All infants and toddlers can also drink an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte.
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