Is Stomach Flu Contagious
Yes! Usually a virus causes the stomach flu. Symptoms appear one to three days after exposure, so you are contagious before you begin to develop symptoms.
And even after youve recovered from your symptoms, you can remain contagious for up to two weeks. Children can remain contagious for an even longer period afterward.
To decrease the risk of passing it onto others, do not go to work or school with symptoms. If you have a fever, wait until its gone for 24 hours before returning to your routine.
What To Do If You Have Gastroenteritis
If you experience sudden diarrhoea and vomiting, the best thing to do is stay at home until you’re feeling better. There’s not always a specific treatment, so you have to let the illness run its course.
You don’t usually need to get medical advice, unless your symptoms don’t improve or there’s a risk of a more serious problem.
To help ease your symptoms:
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea. Water is best, but you could also try fruit juice and soup.
- Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains.
- Get plenty of rest.
- If you feel like eating, try small amounts of plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.
- Use special rehydration drinks made from sachets bought from pharmacies if you have signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth or dark urine read about treating dehydration.
- Take anti-vomiting medication and/or antidiarrhoeal medication if you need to some types are available from pharmacies, but check the leaflet that comes with the medicine. You can also ask your pharmacist or GP for advice about whether they’re suitable.
Gastroenteritis can spread very easily, so you should wash your hands regularly while you’re ill and stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have cleared, to reduce the risk of passing it on .
How Norovirus Is Spread
Norovirus can spread very easily.
You can catch norovirus from:
- close contact with someone with norovirus
- touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
- eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.
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How Contagious Is Norovirus
Norovirus is very contagious and 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. People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least three days after recovery. Some people may be contagious for as long as two weeks after recovery. Therefore, it is particularly important for people to use good hand washing and other hygienic practices after they have recently recovered from norovirus illness.
Tips For Avoiding Stomach Flu
- Wash your hands frequently.Wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom or changing a diaper, before eating or handling food, and after touching surfaces or objects that may contain viruses.
- Keep surfaces clean. Focus on high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, appliance handles, remote controls, light switches, and countertops.
- Disinfect. If someone in your house experiences vomiting or diarrhea due to stomach flu, thoroughly disinfect and clean the area afterward. Use
If you currently have stomach flu, there are things that you can do to prevent the virus from spreading to other people.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Stomach Flu
The main symptom of gastroenteritis is diarrhea. When the GI tract becomes infected during gastroenteritis, multiple activities from the virus brings on diarrhea. Malabsorption occurs because of the destruction of the gut cells called enterocytes. The virus can also disrupt the reasbsorption of water and induce secretory diarrhea, which is responsible for the loose liquidy stools.
- Headache and body aches.
Dry Cereal Crackers And Pretzels
To avoid triggering nausea and vomiting during the stomach flu, dry foods like cereal, plain crackers, and pretzels are safe options .
Since theyre free of spices, low in fat, and low in fiber, theyre gentle on your tummy.
Theyre also made up of simple carbs, which are quickly and easily digested .
Whats more, these refined grains are often fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, which may help you get closer to meeting your daily nutrient needs while ill .
Dry cereal, crackers, and pretzels may be better tolerated during the stomach flu, as theyre easy to digest, free of spices and low in fat and fiber.
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How To Care For A Child With A Stomach Bug At Home
You can treat stomach bugs at home by making sure your child keeps drinking fluids and gets plenty of rest.
The best way to keep your child well hydrated is with an electrolyte-containing solution such as Pedialyte®. Have your child take small sips frequently meaning every five minutes or so throughout the day. Avoid having them fill their stomach too much at once, or it might come back up. Also avoid anything too high in sugar, such as soda, juices or sports drinks, as these might make the diarrhea worse. Water will prevent dehydration but doesnt replace any of the salts or sugars that your child may be losing.
For a breast-feeding infant, give breast milk or formula.
Your child might be fussy and resistant to drinking. Its important to get through the first few times. As your child drinks, theyll start feeling better.
Continue with solid food if your child can tolerate it. Your child may vomit a few times as they adjust. Thats OK. Take a step back by giving them smaller amounts of food and drink and work up from there. Soon your child will be back on the road to good health with lots of energy.
Whats The Bottom Line
The more accurate term for the stomach flu is viral gastroenteritis, because its not related to the influenza viruses that cause the respiratory illnesses we see in fall and winter. There are several types of viruses that can cause viral gastroenteritis. The most common of these is norovirus.
If you have viral gastroenteritis, you may pass the virus on to others when you have symptoms and for a few days after they go away. However, the virus can still be present in your stool for weeks after recovery. For this reason, its important to wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom and before handling food or anything else that will go into your mouth.
Most people recover without seeking medical attention. However, if you experience signs of serious dehydration, blood in your stool, persistent fever, or severe abdominal pain, get medical attention right away.
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Avoid These When You Have The Flu
- Skip your daily coffee: Avoid your cup of joe and favorite caffeinated soda for a one week. Caffeine contracts your intestines, which can make diarrhea worse, Dr. Lipold notes.
- Avoid alcohol altogether: Alcoholic beverages act as a diuretic and can aggravate your stomach even more.
- Dont eat hard-to-digest foods: When you have the stomach flu steer clear of fatty, greasy, spicy and acidic foods. Dairy and tomato-based dishes are also tough on a sick gut.
- Never force yourself to eat: If you dont feel like eating, dont push your body. Try to focus on recovering, rest and staying hydrated, Dr. Lipold says.
- Avoid juices: Apple, orange, or any other juices wont do you much good.
How Serious Is Norovirus Disease
Norovirus disease is usually not serious, although people may feel very sick and vomit many times a day. Most people get better within one or two days, and they have no long-term health effects related to their illness. However, sometimes people are unable to drink enough liquids to replace the liquids they lost because of vomiting and diarrhea. Those people can become dehydrated and might need special medical attention. This problem with dehydration is usually only seen among the very young, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
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What Should You Do If You Think You Have The Stomach Flu
Stomach flu symptoms usually appear 12 to 48 hours after coming into contact with the virus or bacteria. Most cases of gastroenteritis infections will clear up on their own. In the meantime it is important to:
- Stay hydrated try sipping water or broth slowly, or sucking on ice chips.
- Avoid acidic drinks and caffeine.
- Add bland food gradually as the body tolerates it.
- Get lots of rest.
- Stock up on pre-moistened wipes and reading material for the bathroomyoull be spending some quality time in there.
If vomiting and diarrhea continue more than a few days, or if you have bloody stools or symptoms of dehydration, its important to seek medical advice. Sometimes gastroenteritis can lead to other complications or is symptomatic of another underlying medical condition. Our urgent care doctors at Innovative Express Care will offer you sound medical advice and answer any questions or concerns We have IV fluids here, take insurance, and we have a very affordable IV fluid self-pay rate!
Everything You Need To Know About The Stomach Flu
Fun fact: the Stomach Flu isnt actually related to the flu virus at all.
The only commonality is that stomach bugs and the flu are both viruses. The stomach flu lasts anywhere from 1-10 days, depending on your immune system and the individual strain of the virus.
Unlike food poisoning, stomach bugs are usually not contracted via contaminated foods. You catch a stomach virus like you catch the flu by coming into contact with someone who is infected.
If youre aware someone has the stomach flu, youll want to take extra precautions to wash your hands after touching something an infected person has touched.
Try to refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this is the easiest way to pass the virus on from the infected person to yourself.
Technically, you can catch a stomach virus. When this happens, its a similar effect to putting your hand in your mouth after touching an infected person.
Make sure to avoid sharing food and drinks with someone who has a stomach bug.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Taking a probiotic supplement may help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and potentially shorten a diarrhea outbreak.
Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicine . Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean that it is safe or effective.
A 2018 review published in Complementary Medicine Research urged caution when using CAM to treat viral gastroenteritis, stating that the remedies are “mostly unsupported by scientific evidence.”
When To Call Your Doctor
Food poisoning and viral gastroenteritis can become severe enough to require medical attention. However, Dr. Thomas says, in most cases, people can effectively manage either condition with proper rest, hydration and at-home medical treatment. But call your doctor if youre unsure whats causing your symptoms or if youre having high or persistent fevers.
Also keep in mind that other health issues can mimic the symptoms of viral gastroenteritis or food poisoning. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if you experience any of the following:
- Bloody stool or bloody vomit
- Inability to keep any fluids down
- Diarrhea lasting more than three days
- Fever above 104 degrees
- Severe abdominal pain
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What Can I Do To Help Prevent Stomach Flu
The single, most helpful way to prevent the spread of stomach flu is frequent, thorough hand washing. Also, avoid contact with the body fluids of an infected person, including saliva. Don’t share food with someone who has stomach flu.
Developed by RelayHealth.Published by RelayHealth.This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.Â© 2018 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.
Reducing Your Risk Of Intestinal Flu
Not all people who are at risk of intestinal flu will develop the condition, but you can lower your risk of developing or transmitting viral gastroenteritis by :
Avoiding contact with a person who has intestinal flu or its symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea
Washing your hands frequently and especially after using the restroom, before eating, and during and after contact with a person who has intestinal flu or its symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea
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How To Get Rid Of The Stomach Flu: 7 Home Remedies
Youre vomiting. You cant stop going to the bathroom. Youre exhausted and all this terribleness just seems to have come out of nowhere. Could it be the stomach flu? If it is, you probably want to know how to get rid of the stomach flu fast!
If you have the stomach flu, it likely may have been caused by norovirus, which is especially known for infecting people in the colder months of the year. This winter vomiting bug, or stomach flu, is known by doctors for being a family affair. In other words, if one person in the family gets it, most likely every family member in the household will get it because its that contagious!
How do you get rid of the stomach flu? Thankfully, many people with the stomach flu feel better within 24 hours. And luckily there are a lot of great natural ways to boost your recovery from a nasty case of stomach flu.
What Is Norovirus
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in Minnesota.
This infection is often mistakenly referred to as the stomach flu. Norovirus is not related to the flu , which is a common respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.
What Not To Eat
Generally, avoid dairy, fibrous foods, and anything fatty or spicy.
- Dairy: Not everyone has a problem with milk when they have the stomach flu, but it could be hard to digest and can aggravate gas and diarrhea.
- Fiber: You dont need the extra fiber if your bowels are loose.
- Grease: Avoid greasy and salty foods like bacon.
- Spices: Stay away from tomato-based dishes, curries, and chili sauces.
Acupressure has been shown to be effective in treating some types of nausea. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center suggests finding pressure point P-6 by measuring the width of three fingers down from the bottom of your palm.
Press below that width with your thumb and youll feel a sensitive spot between two tendons. Gently massage with your thumb for two or three minutes.
Sea-Bands are a product worn on the wrists. These can be useful in treating nausea if the P-6 acupressure point gives you relief.
What Causes The Stomach Flu
Gastroenteritis is usually caused by a virus in the stomach or intestines, but bacteria is sometimes the culprit. That leftover tuna that smelled a little off? Yep, should have tossed it. No matter if its bacterial or viral, the signs of a stomach bug are the same: nausea, abdominal pain and cramps, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea. Other symptoms you might have are chills, sweats, fever or muscle pain. The first few days are usually the worst and then the symptoms tend to taper off. The enforced weight loss is a total bonus.
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What Natural Or Home Remedies Or Over
When you have a stomach bug, there are several things you can do to help relieve symptoms.
Before trying any alternative or herbal home remedy, consult your doctor.
Preventing The Stomach Flu
If you know the stomach flu is going around, take extra precautions. Avoid close contact with infected people if possible and wash your hands frequently.
Some basic ways to avoid getting the stomach flu include washing your hands regularly and getting plenty of rest. Here are additional methods of prevention:
- Use the dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand when possible.
- Use soap and water instead of hand sanitizer.
- Keep a sick family member isolated. Try to restrict them to one bathroom, and have the rest of the household use another.
- Wipe off shopping cart handles.
- Clean countertops and surfaces with a disinfectant spray, and be sure to wash clothes and bedding as well.
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