How Long Are You Contagious With The Stomach Flu And/or Rotavirus
Stomach bugs are highly contagious. Playing with an infected child is the main way the virus spreads, since germs can live on toys and clothes for hours or even days. If the infection results from bacteria or parasites, your child may have consumed contaminated food or water .
What makes stomach flu particularly virulent is that children are contagious before they actually show any symptoms. Also, adults with their heartier immune systems may harbor the germs and pass them along without ever getting sick themselves.
Babies And Children With Gastro
If you have a baby under 6 months, they should be checked by a doctor. Its also a good idea to have babies older than 6 months and young children with gastro checked by a doctor in case they are dehydrated.
If you cannot find rehydration fluids, or your child refuses to drink it, giving diluted fruit juice is reasonable. You could try a cube of ice or an ice-block if your child wont drink.
Babies can continue milk feeds throughout the illness, with rehydration fluid between feeds.
When To See A Doctor
Generally, the stomach flu can be treated at home with rest, plenty of fluids, and OTC medications.
However, there are a few cases where you should call a medical professional.
If you are an adult, seek immediate care if:
- You have blood in your vomit or bowel movements
- You have been vomiting or having frequent diarrhea for more than two days
- You have not been able to keep down fluids for more than 24 hours or are seeing signs of dehydration
You should seek immediate care for an infant or child if:
- They are abnormally irritable, or seem to be in pain
- They have blood in their diarrhea
- They vomit for more than several hours and are unable to keep any liquids in
- They appear dehydrated
- They have a sunken soft spot on the top of their head
- They appear lethargic
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What Is The Quickest Way To Get Rid Of A Stomach Bug
Lifestyle and home remedies1Let your stomach settle. Stop eating solid foods for a few hours.2Try sucking on ice chips or taking small sips of water often. … 3Ease back into eating. … 4Avoid certain foods and substances until you feel better. … 5Get plenty of rest. … 6Try anti-diarrhea medications.Viral gastroenteritis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic
What Is The Best Way To Treat Stomach Viruses
Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for rotavirus and/or the viral stomach flu they just have to run their course. But replacing lost fluids and nutrients will help your child feel better more quickly and prevent the bug from getting worse. Here’s what to do:
Avoid medications. It may be tempting to offer over-the-counter remedies, but experts strongly recommend caution against giving kids adult tummy meds without consulting your pediatrician. That’s because some, such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate, contain aspirin or aspirin-like ingredients that increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome in children younger than 12. This rare but serious condition causes swelling in the liver and brain. Likewise, antidiarrheals like Imodium can lead to side effects in young children and should be avoided.
Keep up the fluids. Dehydration is a concern because fluids are leaving your child’s body faster than they are being replaced. Prevent dehydration with the following methods.
- For breastfed or formula-fed babies: Let your infant’s belly rest for 15 to 20 minutes after a bout of vomiting or diarrhea and then try nursing or bottle feeding again. “Breast milk is actually well tolerated by sick babies plus the antibodies in it can help strengthen their immune systems,” says Dr. Cohen.
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When Should I See My Doctor
See a doctor immediately if your child cannot keep down a sip of liquid or has dehydration . Babies under 6 months should always be seen by a doctor if they have gastro.
Adults and older children should seek medical advice if their symptoms include a fever, severe abdominal pain, blood in their diarrhoea or signs of dehydration, such as thirst and decreased urination, lethargy, dry mouth, sunken eyes or feeling faint when standing.
The Truth About Stomach Flu
If your child suddenly has an attack of diarrhea and vomiting, and they complain of a stomachache, you may think to yourself, “stomach flu.”
No, not really.
What’s often called “stomach flu” is gastroenteritis, an infection of the stomach and intestines. The flu, or influenza, is different. It causes sore throats, runny noses, and general aches and pains. It rarely causes stomach problems.
Viral infections are the usual cause of gastroenteritis. Bacteria can sometimes bring it on.
The sickness usually passes in about 10 days without medication. The first few days tend to be the worst, but you can take steps to help your child get through it.
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Looking After A Child With Gastroenteritis
You can look after your child at home if they have diarrhoea and vomiting. There’s not usually any specific treatment and your child should start feeling better in a few days.
You don’t normally need to get medical advice unless their symptoms don’t improve or there’s a risk of a more serious problem.
To help ease your child’s symptoms:
- Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids. They need to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea. Water is generally best. Avoid giving them fizzy drinks or fruit juice, as they can make their diarrhoea worse. Babies should continue to feed as usual, either with breast milk or other milk feeds.
- Make sure they get plenty of rest.
- Let your child eat if they’re eating solids and feel hungry. Try small amounts of plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.
- Give them paracetamol if they have an uncomfortable fever or aches and pains. Young children may find liquid paracetamol easier to swallow than tablets.
- Use special rehydration drinks made from sachets bought from pharmacies if they’re dehydrated. Your GP or pharmacist can advise on how much to give your child. Don’t give them antidiarrhoeal and anti-vomiting medication, unless advised to by your GP or pharmacist.
Make sure you and your child wash your hands regularly while your child is ill and keep them away from school or nursery until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared .
Protecting Yourself From Gastroenteritis
The viruses that cause gastroenteritis come from contact with an infected person’s stool. You may get it if a person with the virus didn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom and then touched the escalator at the mall — the same escalator you touched before eating lunch. Stomach flu viruses are tough, too. Some can live on surfaces such as counters for months.
It’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your family. Here’s some advice.
- Wash your hands. According to experts, this is still the best way to stop a stomach virus. One review of studies found that good hand-washing technique cut the rate of diarrhea by 40%. Make sure to use soap and water and do it thoroughly — wash your hands for as long as it takes to recite the alphabet. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, and after changing a diaper.
- Use hand sanitizer. If you’re not near a sink to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Be aware that hand sanitizer may not be as effective as hand washing at preventing the stomach flu.
- Wipe down surfaces. If a family member has the stomach flu, wash off high-traffic areas — such as the bathroom, door knobs, phones, and TV remotes — with a diluted bleach solution. If it’s possible, keep healthy people out of the bathroom the sick person is using.
- Make sure your kids get their vaccines.Vaccines for rotavirus can protect children from some types of stomach flu. Kids usually get the vaccines before they are age 2.
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How Long Does Stomach Flu Last
The stomach flu usually lasts less than a week. Be sure to stay home if you have symptoms, and continue to practice good handwashing afterward. The virus can still be in your stool for up to two weeks after youve stopped having symptoms, so be extra careful with your bathroom habits. Always wash your hands after having a bowel movement, and wash any soiled fabrics in hot soapy water.
Can A Stomach Virus Be Prevented Or Avoided
A flu shot will not prevent a stomach virus. The flu shot only prevent the influenza virus. That is a respiratory illness.
The norovirus can change over time. Therefore, vaccines are still being studied. A rotavirus vaccine is available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children get a rotavirus vaccine. Two different vaccines exist. They require 2 to 3 doses. Children should receive the full vaccine prior to 8 months of age.
You can help prevent or avoid a stomach virus by doing these things:
- Wash your hands often.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects in your home, office, and classroom.
- Use hand sanitizer after being in public.
- Stay away from people who have the virus.
If you have stomach virus, be responsible. Do not expose others to it. This includes babies, older people, and people with a low immune system. Do not go to school, work, or public places.
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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
Stomach Flu Stages And Duration
When the stomach flu hits, it can take you out of commission for a few days straight.
This intestinal infection can cause pain and cramping in your stomach, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.
But the stomach flu isnt a flu, and it doesnt infect your stomach: Its a common name we use for viral gastroenteritis, a group of viral infections that occur in the intestines, not the stomach.
And they arent caused by influenza, or flu virusesthe most common cause of viral gastroenteritis is norovirus, causing 19 to 21 million cases of stomach flu in the U.S. each year.
But if youre suffering from the stomach flu, youre probably not worried about the nameyoure wondering how long it will last, and when youll feel better.
Most cases of viral gastroenteritis go away on their own in less than a week. In this article, Ill go into a little more detail about what the stomach flu isand what it isntand the stages of the infection, including how long it should last.
Ill also outline when you should talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider about your symptoms.
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How To Prevent The Spread Of Stomach Flu Viruses
- Wash your hands thoroughly. This is particularly important after youve used the restroom and if you have diarrhea or vomiting.
- Stay home. Plan to stay home from work or school for at least 2 days after your symptoms have subsided.
- Keep your distance. Avoid coming into contact with people who are at an increased risk of serious illness. This includes babies, older adults, and people with a weakened immune system.
- Dont share. Avoid sharing items such as eating utensils, drinking glasses, phones, or towels while youre sick and for several days after your symptoms have subsided.
- Avoid handling food. Try not to handle or prepare food while youre sick and
Since a virus causes stomach flu, medications such as antibiotics dont help to treat it. Typically, most people with stomach flu recover from their illness without having to seek medical treatment.
The following home remedies can help ease the symptoms of stomach flu and prevent more serious illness.
- severe abdominal pain
- symptoms that dont get better, or begin to get worse after several days of at-home care
- symptoms of stomach flu that occur in an infant, older adult, or individual with an underlying health condition
Medical treatment involves managing your symptoms and promoting hydration. You may be given intravenous fluids to help replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
What Are The Symptoms
When it comes to symptoms, they won’t be able to tell you which of these bugs you caught. Even though norovirus and rotavirus cause more severe ones, the symptoms of stomach flu are all very similar:
- Watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain or cramping
Less common symptoms include a mild fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness.
However, depending on the type of virus, the order in which symptoms appear may be different. If you’ve been infected with rotavirus, you will probably start vomiting before you have watery diarrhea and fever, according to StatPearls. Norovirus also starts with vomiting and non-bloody diarrhea and can be accompanied by any of the other symptoms.
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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.
Is It Stomach Bug Stomach Flu Or Food Poisoning
Your stomach is in knots as another wave of nausea strikes, sending you to the bathroom for the third time in an hour. But whats the cause? Two likely culprits are stomach bug and food poisoning. But how does stomach flu differ from food poisoning? Understanding the difference may lead to feeling better sooner and even prevent the illness from occurring in the first place.
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Causes Of Viral Gastroenteritis
When it comes to how viral gastroenteritis is spread, most cases develop through contact with an infected person or through the consumption of contaminated food or water. Despite that it is sometimes called the stomach flu, influenza does not cause a stomach bug. Actual causes include:
- Noroviruses This type of virus is the primary cause of foodborne illnesses around the world, but it can also be spread from person to person or by touching contaminated surfaces. For adults who contract a stomach bug, a norovirus is the likely culprit.
- Rotavirus This is the predominant cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, although adults and food can still spread the illness. It is most common in infants and young children as they are more likely to put their fingers or other contaminated objects into their mouths.
What Is Viral Gastroenteritis
Viral gastroenteritis is an inflammation, swelling, and irritation of the inside lining of your gastrointestinal tract. A virus causes this illness. It can infect your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.
Viral gastroenteritis is very common. In most cases, it lasts only a few days and doesnt require treatment. The biggest danger is dehydration from loss of fluid due to diarrhea and vomiting.
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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.
Whats The Difference Between Stomach Flu Food Poisoning And Seasonal Flu
Stomach flu isnt the same thing as food poisoning, which often occurs within hours of ingesting a contaminated substance. Food poisoning has similar symptoms to stomach flu. Symptoms of food poisoning usually last for one to two days.
Stomach flu isnt the same as seasonal flu, which causes coldlike symptoms that typically last one to two weeks.
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How Long Does The Stomach Flu Last
- Symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea, fever and stomach pain can last for one to three days depending on the cause.
- Diarrhea may persist longer, for up to 10 days, after the disappearance of other symptoms.
- Even if you are feeling better and even if your symptoms subside, you can be still contagious from a few days up to two weeks or more, depending on which virus caused your stomach flu.
- Because the symptoms are similar, viral diarrhea can be easily confused with diarrhea caused by other bacteria .
- Your infection may range from mild to severe. If you are healthy and drink enough fluids to replace fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhea, then it will not cause any problems in recovery. However, if you have complications such as dehydration , it may require more attention.
- Babies, veterans and people with a low immune system may become severely dehydrated when they lose more fluids than they can replace. Sometimes, hospitalization may be required to replace the lost fluids through intravenous fluid supply. Dehydration can be fatal, but it is rare.