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A: Food poisoning symptoms can last from a few hours to several days. It usually resolves without medical treatment within a week.
See a doctor if you have the following symptoms:
A: Food poisoning that is caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites can be contagious.
To prevent the spread of food poisoning:
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:
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:
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:
These groups of people should seek medical attention for gastroenteritis.
A: It is not common for food poisoning to cause constipation after diarrhoea. However, constipation may occur due to poor oral intake while you are unwell and dehydration.
If this happens you may need to:
A: You should try to eat light meals for 1 – 2 days after major symptoms go away.
During this period, opt for bland, low fat and low fibre foods as they are easier to digest. This will help your gastrointestinal system to readjust as it is healing.
A: Activated charcoal is often used to treat poisoning. There is no evidence that it is useful in the treatment of stomach flu symptoms.
If you have a chronic condition and are taking medications, take activated charcoal with care as it can prevent the absorption of certain medications.
A: If you have food poisoning, you should:
In most cases, you will recover on your own in a few days. However, if your condition does not improve after a few days and if your symptoms are severe, see a doctor.
Young children, pregnant women, those over 60 or anyone with a chronic illness or weakened immune system should see a GP.
A: If you have severe symptoms from dehydration, you may experience dizziness. Seek medical help immediately, where possible.
A: If your child:
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