How long are you contagious with gastroenteritis?

The end of the symptoms of gastroenteritis does not mean the end of the infection. It all depends on the cause of the infection.

Acute gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. Most often it is of viral origin and highly contagious. This infection occurs after an incubation period of 24 to 72 hours. Gastroenteritis is manifested by acute diarrhea with sudden onset, “this diarrhea is characterized by an increase in the frequency of stools with more than three stools in 24 hours and a change in their consistency, where the stools become soft or watery“, emphasizes Ameli Health.

How is gastroenteritis transmitted? The transmission of viruses, bacteria or bacteria responsible for this inflammation of the mucous membrane of the digestive tract is the result of direct contact with a sick person, food contaminated by a sick person or contact with objects on which fine particles from the feces have been deposited of sick people.

Three days off from work

In general, Sygesikringen recommends that doctors issue a suspension of work for three days, depending on the severity of the symptoms. But recovery does not mean the end of the infection. In fact, it can take several weeks before the viruses, bacteria or parasites responsible for the development of the disease are excreted in the stool.

The time until the infection stops depends on the cause of gastroenteritis. In the case of norovirus infection, the highest rate of faecal excretion occurs 24 to 48 hours after all symptoms have disappeared. When the bacteria are the culprit behind the infection, they stay longer in the body. In the case of salmonella, the bacteria were excreted up to 102 days later. Some parasites like Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptosporidium spp may also remain in the stool for several weeks.

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