Is the Stomach Bug Contagious?

January 18, 2024

Norovirus infections, often referred to as ‘the stomach bug’, can cause a variety of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. If you’re wondering whether your symptoms could be caused by the stomach bug, or curious to know whether you can catch the stomach bug from others, continue reading. Visit AFC Urgent Care Braintree for walk-in illness diagnosis and treatment in Braintree, MA.

Causes & Symptoms of The Stomach Bug

Illnesses that affect the stomach can be difficult to self-diagnose. Illnesses such as the flu, food poisoning, and the stomach bug can all display similar symptoms. However, they are all very distinct illnesses that require different types of treatment. While these other infections may cause similar symptoms, the stomach bug is caused by a viral infection caused by a norovirus infection.

Norovirus infections typically last about a week, although symptoms can resolve as early as a few days or last for over 10 days depending on the person. Symptoms typically appear within 3 days of the virus infecting an individual. The delay in symptoms appearing can cause the virus to spread quickly from person to person.

Common symptoms of the stomach bug:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Stomach cramps

Are Norovirus Infections Contagious?

The stomach bug is an illness that is most commonly seen among young children attending school. This is because schools provide the perfect environment for viruses, such as noroviruses which cause the stomach bug, to spread. Although back-to-school time tends to be a common time to see an increase in stomach bug cases, the stomach bug can affect anyone. It is most commonly spread through sharing food or drinks or touching an infected person. Young children are more likely to contract the stomach bug because of their close proximity to other kids while at school, as well as their general lack of hygiene.

Noroviruses are very contagious illnesses, making it important to identify the cause of your symptoms so that you can self-isolate accordingly. If someone in your household is exhibiting symptoms of the stomach bug, washing your hands frequently and avoiding direct contact with them can help you avoid getting sick.

Same-Day Illness Treatment Available in Braintree, MA

Viral infections such as norovirus infections cannot be treated with medications like antibiotics. Instead, your body has to fight the infection off on its own. Luckily, norovirus infections are often short-lived and symptoms tend to pass quickly. Over-the-counter fever medications can help reduce discomfort, however, be sure to always follow the dosage instructions.

In the case of young children, norovirus infections can cause severe dehydration. It is important to monitor children for early signs of dehydration, as dehydration may require medical treatment. Electrolyte supplements can help encourage drinking and boost hydration. Never send your child to school if they are exhibiting signs of a norovirus infection, as your child can spread the infection to other children.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Braintree for Illness Diagnosis & Treatment Available Without an Appointment

The stomach bug can be an unpleasant illness. Luckily, AFC Urgent Care Braintree is available seven days a week to offer walk-in illness diagnosis and treatment to patients in Braintree, MA, and the surrounding communities. Our medical providers are board-certified and able to provide illness care for the whole family. If you suspect you or your child may have the stomach bug, visit AFC Urgent Care Braintree for rapid diagnosis and treatment. Simply walk into our clinic when it’s convenient for you, or schedule an appointment online.

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Our facility is state-of-the-art and equipped with a laboratory on-site. This allows our dedicated medical team to provide a fast and accurate medical diagnosis at the time of your visit. We accept most medical insurance plans and offer affordable care options for patients who are paying out of pocket for their medical care. When you’re experiencing illness symptoms, AFC Urgent Care Braintree is here to help. Walk in today. For additional information about our clinic, contact us directly by calling 781-848-2273.

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