Stomach flu: Is it contagious? How long does it last?

Stomach influenza is extremely catching and can spread through person-to-person touch. A person can besides catch it after coming into reach with contaminate water or food. Symptoms can pass within 3 days .a parent is comforting a young child who has nausea contribution on PinterestImgorthand/Getty Images Stomach influenza is one of several ways to refer to viral gastroenteritis. several viruses can cause viral gastroenteritis. According to one article, the most coarse virus in the United States to cause viral gastroenteritis is presently the norovirus. This accounts for 19–21 million cases per year.

In most cases, the illness is self-limiting and will clear within 1–3 days. This article will explain how retentive stomach influenza is catching for and how long the symptoms can final. It will besides explore the symptoms of stomach influenza and when to contact a repair and provide information on treatment and prevention methods.

How long is stomach flu contagious for?

Stomach influenza is highly catching. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), a person with the norovirus is most catching when they have symptoms of the illness, such as vomit, and during the first few days after they have recovered. however, they besides express that a person can be catching for up to 2 weeks following the contagion. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases ( NIDDK ) state that the norovirus can live on surfaces such as countertops for months. Consuming contaminated food or water system, coming into touch with bodily fluids from a person with the norovirus, and swimming in pollute water are all ways to catch the virus .

How long does stomach flu last?

If another virus is responsible for the infection, it may not clear up as cursorily. The NIDDK indicate the succeed time scales depending on the virus causing the infection :

  • Norovirus: Symptoms of this virus can last between 1 and 3 days.
  • Rotavirus: Symptoms of this virus can last between 3 and 8 days. However, it is less common in the U.S. due to vaccinations.
  • Astrovirus: Symptoms of this virus can last between 1 and 4 days.
  • Adenovirus: Symptoms of this virus can last between 1 and 2 weeks.

A person with the norovirus typically does not require discussion unless they become dehydrated. however, they may need to go to the hospital if they do not receive proper care, and they :

  • are a young child
  • are an older adult
  • have a weakened immune system

In children

The norovirus can survive on surfaces such as changing tables for months. A person can besides catch the virus if they come into contact with bodily fluids, such as vomit or stools, from the child .


Common symptoms of stomach influenza in children may include :

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • watery diarrhea

Some other symptoms a child might experience include :

  • headache
  • fever
  • chills
  • stomachache

Dehydration in children

Parents or caregivers of children should look for the surveil symptoms or complaints from their children, as they can indicate dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration in infants or children include :

  • less frequent urination or no wet diapers for 3 or more hours
  • thirst
  • dry mouth
  • lack of energy
  • sunken cheeks or eyes
  • no tears when crying
  • decreased skin turgor

Duration in children

Although children can vomit more than adults, vomiting can much stop in children after 24 hours. If the vomit increases after 24 hours, a parent or health professional should contact a doctor of the church. If the vomit does not stop but does not increase significantly, the parent or health professional should try to give the child clear up liquids. They should not rush trying to give the child heavier foods.

How to avoid catching stomach flu

There are some steps a person can take to avoid catching stomach influenza. The most common path of infection is the fecal-oral route. In other words, most cases come from contact with infect stool. The CDC add that a person can besides catch the norovirus from :

  • contaminated foods
  • contaminated water
  • unclean surfaces

To help prevent getting abdomen influenza caused by the norovirus, the CDC recommend that people :

  • Avoid preparing foods for others when sick and for 2 days after the symptoms end.
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly.
  • Wash the hands frequently.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables well.
  • Stay at home when sick and for 2 days after the symptoms end.

Learn more about how to prevent stomach influenza here.

Some symptoms of stomach influenza can suggest a austere case. They could besides indicate dehydration or a different, potentially more unplayful, condition. According to the NIDDK, a person should contact a doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms :

  • high fever
  • diarrhea lasting for longer than 2 days
  • black, tarry, or bloody stool
  • severe pain in the abdomen or rectum
  • vomiting frequently
  • six or more loose stools in a day
  • symptoms of dehydration

If a person notices a change in their or another pornographic or child ’ randomness mental state, including miss of energy or temper, they should besides contact a doctor. A person should contact a doctor if their symptoms do not improve within a few days. It is possible that they have a different underlying condition.

What to eat if you have stomach flu 

One article recommends that people follow a politic diet when they have stomach influenza and are recovering from its symptoms. A person should besides drink batch of fluids containing electrolytes. These include humble carbohydrate sports drinks. Read about 33 foods a person can eat with stomach influenza here .

Younger children

Younger children can drink Pedialyte to consume fluid with electrolytes. however, the NIDDK recommend avoiding drinks that contain excessive amounts of carbohydrate, such as fruit juice and sodium carbonate, since boodle can make diarrhea symptoms worse.


A park campaign of stomach influenza is the norovirus. however, other viruses, bacteria, parasites, and chemicals can besides cause it to occur. Stomach influenza symptoms are chiefly related to the digestive tract and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms of abdomen influenza can last between 1 day and 2 weeks, depending on the cause. Norovirus symptoms normally pass within 3 days. A person is catching while they have symptoms.

A person should seek symptom stand-in within a few days and should use caution for respective days following symptoms, since they may still be catching at that point. A person should contact a repair if they experience any symptoms of dehydration or any worsen symptoms that do not clear or start to get better within a few days .

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Category : Health

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