Stop A Stomach Bug From Spreading Tip #2disinfect Every Time And Close The Toilet Lid
This ties into tip #1. You must disinfect the sick person bathroom every single time someone uses it. By the time I started following these protocols, I was actually going in there a few extra times a day and spraying everything down extra times. If you start these protocols as soon as the first person gets sick you probably wont hit those levels of paranoia. Just spraying the bathroom down after each use will be enough.
One thing that is really important to remember though is to close the seat lid before flushing. If you flush with the lid open, this will result in toilet plume. This is pretty much your worst nightmare if you are trying to contain the stomach bug.
Make sure every single person in the house is closing the lid after using the restroom .
Be Smart About Germs If Sickness Strikes
In spite of all you do to avoid norovirus, if someone in your family still gets it, take precautions to protect others. After vomiting and diarrhea end, the sick person should take a warm shower with lots of soapy lather. Leave the water running for a few minutes after exiting the shower stall to wash virus particles down the drain. Afterward, clean the shower with a disinfectant, either chlorine bleach-based or containing hydrogen peroxide stronger than the 3% solution that many people keep in the medicine cabinet.
All used towels, washcloths, and sleepwear should be carefully placed in a plastic garbage bag until they can be put into the washer. Do not put these items in a dirty clothes hamper to prevent cross-contamination.
All bed linens the sick person has used should be removed and laundered, with clean ones put on the bed. When removing soiled sheets and other bedclothes, take the ends and fold them inward toward the middle carefully to avoid scattering minute bits of the virus that may cling to the cloth. If you’re doing this for someone else, wear disposable rubber gloves while handling laundry.
Does this sound like an enormous amount of work? Make no mistake, it is. But itâs necessary if someone in your family contracts norovirus to avoid the domino effect. You donât want it to spread to everyone else.
Use hot water and bleach for a sick person’s laundry.
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Wash Your Hands Carefully With Soap And Water
- Especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating, preparing, or handling food.
- Norovirus can be found in your vomit or stool even before you start feeling sick. The virus can stay in your stool for 2 weeks or more after you feel better. It is important to continue washing your hands often during this time.
- Alcohol-based hand gels can be used in addition to hand washing. But, they should not be used as a substitute for washing with soap and water.
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Norovirus Or Another More Serious Issue That Requires Medical Attention
People should see their doctor if there’s blood in their vomit or in their stool. That is a more serious warning sign. Its also important to see your doctor if your symptoms last longer than one week or if you have a fever higher than 103 degrees. That’s a little bit more concerning and could suggest that something else might be going on. People who feel like they’re dehydrated or have so much abdominal pain that they can’t tolerate it definitely need to go see their doctor or go to the emergency room.
What Are The Symptoms
Common symptoms of norovirus infection include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. Less common symptoms can include low-grade fever or chills, headache, and muscle aches. Symptoms usually begin 1 or 2 days after ingesting the virus, but may appear as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness typically comes on suddenly. The infected person may feel very sick and vomit often, sometimes without warning, many times a day. Sometimes people infected with norovirus have no symptoms at all, but can still pass the virus to others.
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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.
Getting Medical Advice For Your Child
You don’t usually need to see your GP if you think your child has gastroenteritis, as it should get better on its own, and taking them to a GP surgery can put others at risk.
Phone the 111 service or your GP if you’re concerned about your child, or they:
- have symptoms of dehydration, such as passing less urine than normal, being unusually irritable or unresponsive, pale or mottled skin, or cold hands and feet
- have blood in their poo or green vomit
- are vomiting constantly and are unable to keep down any fluids or feeds
- have had diarrhoea for more than a week
- have been vomiting for three days or more
- have signs of a more serious illness, such as a high fever , shortness of breath, rapid breathing, a stiff neck, a rash that doesn’t fade when you roll a glass over it or a bulging fontanelle
- have a serious underlying condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease or a weak immune system, and have diarrhoea and vomiting
Your GP may suggest sending off a sample of your child’s poo to a laboratory to confirm what’s causing their symptoms. Antibiotics may be prescribed if this shows they have a bacterial infection.
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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.
If Someone Is Infected With Norovirus What Symptoms Could They Expect To Develop
People usually develop symptoms one to two days after theyve been exposed. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are the most predominant symptoms associated with this infection. Some people may also have a headache or feel generally achy. Norovirus is sometimes associated with a low-grade fever of around 100.4 to 101 degrees but not always. People with norovirus may also have some stomach cramping and belly pain. If you’re running to the bathroom several times a day, you could imagine that your gut is working really hard.
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Protect Yourself At Work
The first step you can take to protect yourself at work is to prepare your own healthy lunch at home, bringing it to the workplace in a disposable bag. Once at work, you will touch numerous objects that are potentially infected, so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before eating. If any of your coworkers appear to be feeling under the weather or mention having or “getting over” a stomach bug, keep your distance. You arenât being rude, youâre just protecting yourself and your family. Remember that individuals who have norovirus may still be contagious for two weeks or longer.
How To Treat A Stomach Flu
No medication can quickly cure the stomach flu. Generally, treatment involves rest and making sure to replace lost fluids. Avoid caffeinated drinks. Sports drinks can be used, but you may want to get over-the-counter rehydration fluids that provide a full balance of minerals and nutrients that are lost with diarrhea and vomiting.
Antibiotics dont work against the norovirus.
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Avoid Contact With Those Who Are Sick
Be wary of sharing food and utensils with someone who is sick with norovirus. If you have the stomach flu, you should avoid preparing food for other people until youre no longer contagious.
If someone with the illness soils their clothes or sheets with feces or vomit, make sure to put the dirty linens in the laundry. Put on gloves before handling the items, and use the hottest water setting for maximum virus-killing effect.
Simple Tips Everyone Should Practice
Stomach flu, also known as norovirus infection, is a contagious illness that can affect people regardless of age. The infectious disease often spreads in areas where people are in close contact for long periods, like cruise ships or prisons.
Because many different types of norovirus exist, its possible to contract the virus multiple times in a lifetime. It can be challenging to prevent this very transmissible illness, but you can take steps to try and prevent it.
This article will cover how the stomach flu spreads, different strategies for prevention, how to treat it at home, and when to see a doctor.
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Stop A Stomach Bug From Spreading Tip #4laundry
There are a few different ways to disinfect your laundry. If you are just doing whites, bleach is the obvious choice, I dont have a whole lot of whites though, so
Pouring between 1/4 and 1/3 of a cup of straight up, old fashioned Pine-Sol into the the fabric softener receptacle will do the trick. This must be in warm or hot water. When I am doing this, I program my washer to do an extra rinse, just so that the smell isnt too strong. (It will seem like the smell is going to be strong, but by the time the clothes run through the dryer, the smell has dissipated.
Its important that you get this specific type of Pine-Sol, its the only one that is laundry-friendly.
There is also this product by Lysol. I wasnt able to find this product at my local Wal-mart, but the price is good on Amazon. Im going to order some to keep in the laundry room. Both of these products are great to have on hand for colds and flu as well.
According to the doctor I spoke to, just regular detergent and warm water are not enough to kill germs in the laundry.
How Do Doctors Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to control severe vomiting. Doctors dont prescribe antibiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics dont work for viral infections.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live microbes, most often bacteria, that are like the ones you normally have in your digestive tract. Studies suggest that some probiotics may help shorten a case of diarrhea. Researchers are still studying the use of probiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicines or practices.
Anyone with signs or symptoms of dehydration should see a doctor right away. Doctors may need to treat people with severe dehydration in a hospital.
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Stomach Viruses: When To Worry
If you’re wondering how to determine whether your little ones symptoms are simply unpleasant or a cause for concern, look for the following, says Dr. Kondis:
- High fever. This can be indicative of a bacterial infection.
- Visible blood in diarrhea or vomit. This can also indicate a bacterial infection.
- Bright green-colored vomit. This can occur with excessive vomiting, but can also be indicative of a bowel obstruction.
- Vomiting with no diarrhea. This could indicate a different gastrointestinal illness, like appendicitis.
- Lack of urination/wet diapers. This could indicate your child is becoming dehydrated, which is one of the most common concerns about the stomach virus.
What To Do When You Have Norovirus
Rememberâthere’s no medication currently available that will prevent or stop norovirus in its tracks. Remember that antibiotics have no effect against viruses. They only target bacterial infections. If you catch norovirus, youâre probably in for a wretched period of illness, one you will essentially have to endure. Rest and drink lots of water to prevent dehydration once the most active phase ends. If symptoms are severe and don’t ease within 12 hours, prescription medication or over-the-counter meds may be used for relief. It’s a good idea to keep an over-the-counter antiemetic on hand in your medicine cabinet so it will be there if needed. Do not give aspirin for fever or headache to small children. Keep a doctor-approved OTC medication on hand.
Norovirus tends to mutate, and there may be more than one strain circulating during any season. However, general symptoms include:
- Dehydration due to loss of body fluids
Vomiting and diarrhea usually stop after 10 to 12 hours. Other symptoms may last a week or more.
Norovirus is not dangerous for most people, but can be deadly for the elderly, the very young, or anyone with chronic illness or a compromised immune system. The main dangers are dehydration and the possibility of fainting and sustaining injuries from a fall.
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How To Prevent The Stomach Flu
It seems like everyone knows someone whos had the stomach bug this winter. We think of this time of year mainly as the season for respiratory illnesses, but its actually high time for the spread of GI viruses, says , medical director of the Department of Infection Prevention and Control at CHOP. The main reason: Were all cooped up inside, keeping us in close contact with one another and those nasty viruses.
Once the stomach bug hits your family, you never want to get it again. But can you actually avoid a norovirus infection next year? And if your kid has managed to dodge the nasty virus half his classmates got this year, can your family really get through the spring without getting sick?
We asked Dr. Sammons for her best tips on how to prevent the spread of norovirus. Plus, she offers advice on caring for a child who does get sick.
How Long Is The Stomach Flu Contagious
Stomach flu is contagious when the organisms that cause stomach flu are spread to uninfected individuals. The timeframe or how long the infected person remains contagious depends on the infecting cause. For example, most common cause of stomach flu is Norovirus. It has an incubation period of about 12 – 48 hours, and can cause the person to be contagious during the incubation period and for as long as they shed virus . Norovirus symptoms usually last about one to two days and is sometimes termed the 24 hour stomach flu.
Other infectious agents such as other viral strains, bacteria, and other infectious agents have incubation periods and contagious periods unique to them. Because this is an introductory article about stomach flu, readers are recommended to check the incubation periods and contagious periods of whatever infectious agent is thought to be causing the problem .
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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.
Practice Food Safety At Home
Remember tip No. 1 about hand-washing? It is especially important in the kitchen because norovirus spreads by ingestion. As you prepare food, wash your hands frequently especially right before serving anything to others. Also, if you have symptoms or know you are sick, stay out of the kitchen and avoid spreading the virus to others.
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How To Stop A Stomach Virus From Spreading
Most strains of the virus are extremely contagious. That means your entire family can very quickly get sick. If you are lucky enough to have only one person in the family sick before it spreads, the best thing you can do to protect others is to isolate the sick individual, and then clean as best as you can, says Dr. Kondis. The incubation period for the common stomach virus is between 12 and 48 hours.
Wash hands frequently,” she says. “Some viruses that cause stomach flu, such as Norovirus, can actually survive hand sanitizer, so it is best to wash with soap and water. Also wash bedding, towels, and other things that children are using while they are sick.”
And be sure to wash any surfaces that your child comes into contact with while they’re sick. “Some viruses can survive on hard surfaces for days,” Dr. Kondis elaborates. “Consider using a diluted bleach solution in addition to soap and water. Pay attention to commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, sink faucets, and toilet seats and handles. Anything that comes into contact with even the smallest amount of infected bodily fluid is fair game for spreading the virus.
If your child throws up on the floor, consider wearing a face mask and gloves when tackling the clean-up task. Use a substance that dries the solid waste, making it easier to pick up without splashing everywhere, which can increase the likelihood of spreading germs.