Once an individual ends up with the stomach flu, it can make life miserable. No one wants to be sick with this condition due to its contagious nature. With this in mind, it is vital that you are aware how and when it spreads. Remember that there is a possibility that the individual might be spreading the condition without even realizing it.
Contagious nature of stomach flu
The viral cases of the stomach flu can be triggered by various strains of viruses. The norovirus is the most common. The rotavirus is another typical cause that can become serious among young children. Luckily, there is already a vaccine available for rotavirus thus its spread is no longer prevalent than it used to be.
Both of these viruses and other strains that trigger the symptoms of stomach flu are highly contagious. The symptoms of norovirus manifest 1-3 days after being exposed to the virus and an individual is contagious as the symptoms manifest. It is recommended to resume daily activities once the individual is free from symptoms for 24 hours, but the individual is still contagious for 3 days after recovery and can spread the virus up to 2 weeks.
As for rotavirus, an individual is highly contagious before the symptoms even manifest and for 2 weeks after recovery. In most cases, the symptoms start 1-2 days after being exposed. In both viruses, children are often contagious and can spread the condition longer than the adults.
How stomach flu spreads
The stomach virus rapidly spreads via close contact. Sharing food or utensils and not washing hands frequently are the usual reasons why viruses spreads in families.
Even it seems undesirable, small-sized particles of stool from diarrhea or vomitus can be handed on from one individual to another.
What can you do for stomach flu?
There are vital measures to take into consideration when managing the stomach flu.
- Always wash hands especially after using the bathroom, before and after preparing or eating food, changing diapers and when caring for a sick individual.
- Utilize a hand sanitizer if water and soap is not available.
- Do not allow sick family members to care for others or prepare food.
- Fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed and food must be cooked well when a family member is sick.
- Cleanse and disinfect all surfaces in the house that might be contaminated by the virus.
- Linens and clothing that came in contact with sick family members must be thoroughly washed.
In most cases, it is often hard to prevent the spread of stomach flu in the house, schools, day care centers or other settings in which people are in close contact with one another, but taking into consideration these measures can minimize the risk for spreading the stomach flu.