How Long Are Stomach Bugs Contagious
The question of how long depends on the underlying organism, whether virus or bacteria, Dr. Delgado-Borrego says. As a rule of thumb, a child is contagious as long as theyre having diarrhea. Stomach bugs last a few days up to a couple of weeks.
The cessation of diarrhea is a common marker for when a stomach bug is no longer considered contagious. While vomiting wont last longer than 18 to 24 hours, diarrhea in infants and toddlers who have a stomach bug can sometimes last seven to 14 days, says Rashmi Jain, MD, pediatrician and founder of BabiesMD in California. During this entire time, they can still be shedding viral particles in their stools and be contagious. As pediatricians, we caution that children can be contagious until diarrhea has been resolved for a good 24 to 48 hours.
Children should be kept home from school or daycare and away from other people during this time.
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 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.
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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Can Gastroenteritis Be Prevented
Germs that cause gastroenteritis are contagious. The best way to avoid the illness is to keep the germs from spreading:
- Teach all family members to wash their hands well and often. They should wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. This is especially important after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food.
- Clean tabletops, doorknobs, and other surfaces that get touched a lot with a cleaner that kills viruses.
- Follow food safety guidelines to prevent bacteria and viruses from getting into food and drinks .
- Make sure your kids get all recommended immunizations on time.
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.
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How To Treat Stomach Bug
The answer to the question can newborns get stomach bug is yes, so if your little one does suffer from it, you would like to follow the treatments below.
1. Get medical help
- Antibiotics may be given if your baby is suffering from a bacterial infection.
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be given with the appropriate dosage to relieve fever and ease the pain.
- Avoid giving your baby antidiarrheal drugs as it may only prolong the condition and may cause several side effects.
- Avoid giving aspirin to your baby since it can cause Reyes syndrome which is fatal.
2. Proper rehydration
Your baby may suffer from dehydration due to vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. It is important to regain the lost fluid through rehydration.
- Rehydrate your baby as soon as possible. This can be done by breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby more often.
- Over-the-counter oral electrolyte solutions may be used, as per doctors recommendation based on your babys age and weight. These solutions may help replace the lost fluids, salt, and minerals in your babys body. Some of the most common electrolyte solutions include Enfalyte, Pedialyte, and Rehydralyte.
- Give your baby diluted apple juice followed by the drinks of their choice. Based on a recent study, this method is far better than giving electrolytes solution alone.
- Avoid giving your baby clear liquids such as water, soda, or chicken broth. These will not provide the necessary nutrients to your dehydrated baby.
3. Normal diet
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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How Long Does The Norovirus Live On Surfaces
Norovirus may stay dormant on surfaces for days or even weeks until eliminated with a disinfectant.
As per the CDC, norovirus in babies is a concerning condition since it may cause severe dehydration and other complications such as malnutrition or necrotizing enterocolitis. Follow proper personal hygiene since this infection is caused by contaminated food or water and spreads through infected people. Keep the baby away from infected people and never give them uncooked food. Also, if you notice any symptoms of norovirus, consult your health professional for prompt medical attention. If diagnosed, ensure they have a healthy diet, plenty of fluids, and good rest to help them recover.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stomach Flu In Kids
The best way to get ahead of a stomach infection in kids is to pay close attention to the symptoms. Ensure not to confuse the symptoms of stomach flu in kids with the symptoms of worms in stomach in toddlers, especially if the child complains of abdominal pain. To avoid this, here are the symptoms to look for.
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How To Treat A Stomach Virus
Despite its nasty nature, most kids recover from the stomach virus without any complications, and there isnt much you need to do while theyre ill. Generally speaking, dehydration is the biggest concern related to gastroenteritis. When a child is vomiting, you want to avoid dehydration,” says Dr. Kondis, “So encourage them to drink small amounts of an electrolyte-containing drink like Gatorade or Pedialyte.
On the other hand, it’s best to avoid food until your child is more likely to tolerate it. For the first 24 hours or so, it is best to keep the child from eating solid foods, because it will likely just cause them to vomit, says Dr. Kondis. Once you start to see the vomiting subside, and when your child tells you theyre feeling hungry, its best to start slow.
Introduce a dry food without strong flavors. Saltine crackers, white rice, or even a popsicle are a great place to start. Soon after, Dr. Kondis says its fine to allow children to eat whatever they feel like they can eat, including fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and carbohydrates.
How To Prevent A Stomach Bug
Your best bet for stomach bug prevention is to wash hands often with soap and warm water. Hand sanitizers may not effectively kill germs. If you or your child gets a stomach bug, washing hands often will also help prevent the infection from spreading throughout your house. Dont prepare or share food with anyone in the household who is sick. When it comes to cleaning up vomit and diarrhea, using bleach immediately is the best way to kill the virus. Remember to wash linens, bed sheets and other laundry on the longest washer setting possible using the warmest temperature. Dont shake the laundry before washing to limit the likelihood of the virus spreading to other areas of the house.
Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH, are official spokespeople for the American Academy of Pediatrics and the co-authors of The Pediatricians Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers. They write about the latest AAP guidelines, studies and seasonal issues affecting babies and toddlers. Follow them on Instagram .
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
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How Did Your Newborn Get Stomach Bug
After you know the answer to can newborns get stomach bug, you may be concerned about this. A stomach bug is a very infectious disease. This condition may be acquired by your children through several means.
- Your baby may have ingested something that is contaminated with the virus that can cause the disease.
- Your baby may have shared a utensil or a cup that is used by someone infected with the virus. Keep in mind that there might be a presence of virus even without exhibiting any symptoms.
- Your baby may have eaten contaminated food and water, especially if the causative agent is bacteria or parasites.
- Your baby may have put in their mouth dirty hands that are infected with fecal matter. This may be disgusting, but can happen especially in a daycare setting.
What Is A Stomach Bug
Although it is frequently called the stomach flu, stomach bugs have nothing to do with theseasonal influenza virus , which is a respiratory illness. Stomach bugs are usually viral illnesses that may affect both the stomach and the intestines.
A stomach bug is a gastroenteritis, which means inflammation of the stomach or intestine, saysAymin Delgado-Borrego, MD, a triple-board certified doctor in pediatrics, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric hepatology at KIDZ Medical Services in Florida. This inflammation can be the result of either a viral or bacterial infection.
Gastroenteritis is common. It is responsible for approximately1.5 million office visits, and 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States.
While 90% of children in the United States will have a mild case that does not require medical treatment, there are risks of complications, particularly of dehydration. Approximately 300 children die each year of gastroenteritis in the United States. This number is higher in developing countries, particularly where sanitation and access to clean water and medical care are limited.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Stomach Bug
A stomach bug is an infection of the digestive tract that is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Upset stomach
- Muscle pain
Infants tend to easily suffer from dehydration after a few hours of vomiting. This can be a symptom of stomach bug. But you should be aware of the other possible causes of vomiting, such as intestine blockage, as these may be mistakenly associated with a stomach bug.
Should I Give My Child Medication Or Supplements
Giving your child antidiarrheal medications, such as loperamide , isnt recommended, but offering probiotics containing Lactobacillus GG may be helpful and has been shown to shorten the course of mild to moderate diarrhea by one day. Most of the time, even if bacteria is behind the stomach bug, antibiotic therapy isnt called for or even helpful, since the majority of infections will resolve on their own. Antibiotics also often have their own set of side effects and can possibly make stomach bug symptoms worse.
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How Can I Prevent Viral Gastroenteritis
You can take several steps to keep from getting or spreading infections that cause viral gastroenteritis. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
- after using the bathroom
- after changing diapers
- before and after handling, preparing, or eating food
You can clean surfaces that may have come into contact with infected stool or vomit, such as countertops and changing tables, with a mixture of 5 to 25 tablespoons of household bleach and 1 gallon of water.7 If clothes or linens may have come into contact with an infected persons stool or vomit, you should wash them with detergent for the longest cycle available and machine dry them. To protect yourself from infection, wear rubber gloves while handling the soiled laundry and wash your hands afterward.7
If you have viral gastroenteritis, avoid handling and preparing food for others while you are sick and for 2 days after your symptoms stop.7 People who have viral gastroenteritis may spread the virus to any food they handle, especially if they do not thoroughly wash their hands. Contaminated water may also spread a virus to foods before they are harvested. For example, contaminated fruits, vegetables, and oysters have been linked to norovirus outbreaks. Wash fruits and vegetables before using them, and thoroughly cook oysters and other shellfish.7Find tips to help keep food safe.
Symptoms Of Norovirus Infection
Norovirus is highly contagious, and ingestion of fewer than 100 viruses is sufficient to develop an infection . The signs and symptoms usually emerge between 12 to 48 hours, although they may emerge within a few hours after contracting the virus .
The virus causes inflammation of the intestinal and stomach walls a condition known as gastroenteritis. Below are the signs of norovirus-induced gastroenteritis in babies .
- Vomiting is the most common sign of norovirus infection among children
- Watery diarrhea that does not contain blood
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
The baby may also display frequent crying, lethargy, and loss of interest in playing or other activities that they usually enjoy.
Consult a doctor as soon as you notice any of these signs and symptoms. Infants and toddlers are particularly prone to gastroenteritis complications, which can be averted through timely medical intervention.
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When To Get Medical Advice
You should contact your GP if:
- your child is repeatedly vomiting and is unable to hold down fluids
- you think they’re dehydrated symptoms of dehydration can include a dry mouth, crying without producing tears, urinating less or not wetting many nappies, and drowsiness
- their vomit is green or contains blood
- they have been vomiting for more than a day or two
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A& E department immediately if they’re vomiting and have a headache, stiff neck and a rash.
How Is Gastroenteritis Diagnosed And Does My Child Need Any Tests
Most parents recognise gastroenteritis in their children because of their typical symptoms. The symptoms will often be quite mild and commonly get better within a few days without any treatment, other than drinking plenty of fluids. You will often not need to take your child to see a doctor or seek medical advice.
However, in some circumstances, you may need to seek medical advice for your child . If this is the case, the doctor may ask you questions about:
- Recent travel abroad.
- Whether your child has been in contact with someone with similar symptoms.
- Whether they have recently taken antibiotics.
- Whether they have recently been admitted to hospital.
This is to look for a possible cause of their gastroenteritis. They will usually examine your child for signs of lack of fluid in the body . They may check their temperature and heart rate. They may also examine your child’s tummy to look for any tenderness.
Tests are not usually needed. However, in certain cases, the doctor may ask you to collect a stool sample from your child. For example, if your child:
- Is particularly unwell.
- Has recently travelled abroad.
- Has symptoms which are not getting better.
The stool sample can then be examined in the laboratory to look for the cause of the infection.
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How Long Will Stomach Flu Last
Depending on the virus and your child’s immune system, the stomach flu can last anywhere from just a day or two to around 10 days. “Children tend to throw up for just the first day or two, but diarrhea can last more than a week,” says David B. Nelson, M.D., chair and professor of pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.