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A:Food poisoning that is caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites can be contagious.
To prevent the spread of food poisoning:
Stay at home from work or school
Wash your hands well with soap and water frequently
Disinfect commonly touched surfaces
A: Generally, you are most contagious from the time your first symptoms start until several days after they have resolved.
However, some viruses, such as rotaviruses and noroviruses, can make you contagious before symptoms start and can shed for several weeks in your stool.
This is why good hand hygiene is so important to prevent the spread of infection.
A:Gastroenteritis usually resolves on its own after a few days and can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication. Antibiotics are not usually needed as most gastroenteritis are caused by viruses.
Some ways to care for gastroenteritis at home include:
Drinking plenty of liquids to replace the fluids lost to diarrhoea and vomiting. Water, sports drinks, clear broth and oral rehydration solutions are good ways to replace water and electrolytes.
Consider taking over-the-counter remedies for diarrhoea. If you are giving medication to children, do check with a paediatrician first.
Eat small amounts of bland food such as rice porridge, toast or plain crackers.
Avoid foods that might trigger symptoms. This includes food that is high in fat or sugar and products that contain dairy or caffeine.
A: No, there is no way of knowing you have food poisoning until it is too late, and there is no way to cure food poisoning before it starts.
You can prevent and avoid food poisoning by:
Washing your hands before and after eating.
Cleaning and rinsing kitchen and eating utensils and surfaces well before use.
Avoiding cross-contamination of raw and cooked foods by ensuring that they are separated during storage and preparation.
Cooking food, especially meats, to a safe internal temperature.
A: It is important to cook pork thoroughly as raw or undercooked pork can make you sick. Pork can contain parasites such as roundworm or tapeworms, which are typically killed in the cooking process.
A:Stomach flu, or viral gastroenteritis, can occur more than once, but it is uncommon for the same virus to recur within a short time.
If you have just recovered and are experiencing symptoms soon after, consult a doctor.
A: Most cases of gastroenteritis are not serious and symptoms go away on their own after several days. However, serious complications such as severe dehydration may develop in:
Has started weaning, you should offer small amounts of bland and digestible foods such as rice, potatoes and bananas.
Hasgastroenteritisand is losing fluids to vomiting or diarrhoea, you should ensure that they rehydrate frequently to prevent dehydration. Instead of plain water, you can give an oral rehydration solution. Follow the instructions on the packet and give small amounts at a time after each episode of vomiting and diarrhoea, allowing some time for their stomach to settle.
Is breastfeeding or being formula-fed, you should give less milk each time and supplement with an oral rehydration solution. You do not need to dilute the milk formula.