How Long Does Stomach Flu Last?
If you were to ask someone who has had it, they’ll tell you: “too long”. Most cases of stomach flu will take a couple of days to run their course.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, however, you may feel its effects for up to ten days. Given the harshness of this type of bug, it’s no wonder why.
If symptoms don’t subside after a few days, see your healthcare practitioner to determine if there’s some other medical condition that’s causing them to linger.
Is Stomach Flu Contagious?
Yes, extremely so. Stomach flu is contracted via direct or indirect contact with someone who has the bug or a hard surface that’s been infected.
These types of viruses can also spread through contact with bodily excretions, a potential hazard when changing a diaper.
You can remain contagious for up to three days after symptoms have dissipated. Stomach flu season is November to April, so it’s wise to pay special attention to hygiene during this time.
Similar to other infectious disease, medical experts recommend a common sense approach to avoid getting sick and spreading infection.
- Wash hands thoroughly with warm soapy water, especially after using the toilet or being in close contact with others. The incubation period for these viruses is twenty-four to forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms so you may come into contact with someone who has it but is asymptomatic.
- Avoid contaminated food and water or anything that’s been in close proximity to an infected person.
- Wash produce before eating it.
- Cook meats and seafood thoroughly – norovirus is the top cause of foodborne illness. (2)
- Dispose of vomit and feces of the infected person slowly and carefully, as the virus can become airborne.
- The infected person should not attend work, school, or any event where other people are present to avoid spreading the virus.
- Frequently clean hard surfaces with an anti-viral cleaner or hot soapy water. Lemon juice, peppermint, and tea tree oil are natural anti-virals that can be mixed with water in a spray bottle for use in cleaning and disinfecting.