Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

About Stomach Flu

Stomach flu, also referred to as viral gastroenteritis, is a medical condition where the patient has inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (intestines and stomach). Stomach flu is a very contagious condition and millions of people are affected every year from it.

Incubation Period for Stomach Flu

Incubation Period for Stomach Flu

There are many individuals who carry the virus responsible for causing stomach flu for about 4 hours to 2 days. The incubation period for stomach flu depends on the type of virus causing it. Given below are the incubation periods of the stomach flu according to different viruses:

Incubation Period for Stomach Flu Caused by The Norovirus

The incubation period for stomach flu caused by Norovirus is about 1 to 3 days, after which the symptoms appear. The contagious period for stomach flu caused by the Norovirus is from the time the symptoms appear till about 2 to 3 weeks after the patient is suffering from stomach flu has been cured of it. The patient is not contagious during the incubation period for stomach flu caused by Norovirus.

Incubation Period for Stomach Flu Caused by The Rotavirus

The incubation period for stomach flu caused by the rotavirus is about 1 to 2 days. Patients suffering from stomach flu caused by the rotavirus are contagious during the actual incubation period till about a couple of weeks of recovery. Children are commonly affected by rotavirus and they also are contagious for prolonged periods of time when compared to adults.

Incubation Period for Stomach Flu Caused by the Adenovirus

The incubation period for stomach flu caused by the adenovirus is about a week (7 days) after which the symptoms appear. The patients with stomach flu caused by the adenovirus are also contagious during the incubation period.

Symptoms After the Incubation Period of Stomach Flu

After the virus of stomach flu has entered the body, the symptoms start to appear. The primary symptoms of stomach flu consist of severe abdominal cramping, pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Patients with stomach flu can also suffer from fever or headaches. There also may be swelling in the lymph nodes in patient with stomach flu. Persistent vomiting or diarrhea in stomach flu should not be ignored as it can cause dehydration and needs prompt medical attention.

How is Stomach Flu Treated?

Seek immediate medical attention after the symptoms appear. Stomach flu is caused by a virus and medication does not help much and the stomach flu resolves on its own after it has run its course and the incubation period has been completed.

Supportive treatment for stomach flu consists of:

  • It is important to take adequate rest and drink plenty of fluid, especially when there is vomiting and diarrhea in stomach flu.
  • In case of fever in stomach flu, medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are prescribed to bring down the fever.
  • The initial few days of stomach flu, patient should consume a liquid diet only; after which patient needs to switch to a bland BRAT diet, which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.
  • After a few days patient should consume diet rich in potassium (potatoes, bananas), salt (pretzels or soup) and yogurt. A little bit of fat intake is also important, which can be done by consuming some butter or lean meat to slow the digestion and reduce the diarrhea.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 5, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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