We’ve all been there, suffering the consequences of eating our favorite takeaway food while hunched over the toilet and questioning our life choices. Unfortunately, a stomach bug, or norovirus, is a cluster of viruses that gives way to gastroenteritis. This is what ultimately causes all the pain, vomiting, and diarrhea after your guilty pleasure meal. But besides the gruesome effects, did you know that a stomach bug is contagious?
You can easily catch or pass it along to someone by sharing contaminated food and drinks. Even touching a contaminated surface – by hand or mouth, can lead to viral gastroenteritis. To find out how you can defeat a stomach bug and keep yourself protected from its dangers, keep on reading.
What is a Stomach Bug?
A stomach bug, or stomach flu, results from numerous viruses all clumped together. This group of infectious viruses is known as norovirus, and it causes viral gastroenteritis to take form. From throwing up to diarrhea to intense stomach cramps, viral gastroenteritis can be incredibly draining. Although, if you’re not careful, the effects you feel can lead to a viral outbreak, infecting groups of people.
Is Stomach Bug Contagious?
Yes! A stomach bug or viral gastroenteritis is incredibly contagious. It can easily spread if you are in close contact with someone displaying symptoms. Sharing food, drinks, utensils, or touching a contaminated area that previously came in contact with an infected person can transfer the effects to someone else.
How Long Are You Contagious With A Stomach Bug?
The moment you start feeling sick or display symptoms of stomach flu, you are contagious. In the case of norovirus, you must quarantine or avoid contact with others from the first day of the illness to the third day of recovery.
In some cases, patients suffer from a stomach bug for around two weeks. However, if you take proper care and precautions, you can flush out the toxins and virus faster.
Causes of Stomach Bugs
Various viruses, including the following, typically cause a stomach bug:
A stomach bug isn’t a serious condition, but it is severely contagious. It tends to affect people of all ages and can leave you severely dehydrated if left untreated.
Common Stomach Flu Symptoms
The most common sign of a stomach bug is the unbearable pain that comes with it. However, it can also cause other symptoms, such as:
- Sensitive digestive tract
- High fever
- Stomach cramps
- Watery or thin diarrhea.
Tips to Survive A Stomach Bug Contamination
Living with a stomach bug is not easy. It can turn your life upside down and become a hurdle in your day-to-day life. But with the precautionary measures mentioned below, you can limit its effects and walk the path of recovery very soon.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after making contact with any and everything.
- Avoid contact with someone with a stomach flu.
- Wash all produce with water before use.
- Visit a doctor if the symptoms persevere and the pain becomes unbearable.
- When cooking shellfish, wash it properly and cook it all the way. Do not eat it raw.
- If you caught the bug, make sure to quarantine for at least 48 hours.
- Drink as much water as you can.
A stomach bug is quite contagious. It can spread like wildfire if you’re not careful. Nevertheless, if you’re suffering from stomach flu and want to get rid of it as soon as possible, contact Sharaf Diwan, MD, at (832) 604-0005 or visit 18220 TX-249 #230, Houston, TX 77070. You can find us at the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.