Stomach bug: symptoms have abated, but are we still contagious?
December 24, 2017 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Our adult son is due to visit tomorrow for a couple days, for Christmas. Is that safe, when the rest of us in the household had a stomach bug this week?

Everyone in the household (our daughter, my husband, and myself) have had a stomach bug in the past week. I do think we will be symptom-free by tomorrow, although my husband seems to have picked up a cough. So I told our son to come on up, it should be fine.

But now I'm wondering if maybe that's a mistake? If we are all symptom-free by tomorrow, should it be safe for our son to visit, or might we still be contagious?

For more detail: college-age daughter got sick Wednesday night, but was pretty much okay by Friday; I got sick Thursday night, and felt better by the next night, but then had diarrhea this morning; husband got sick Saturday night, says he feels fine now, but has picked up a bit of a cough.

We'll be cooking dinner, if that matters. (I worry that it does.)
posted by merejane to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
The role at the hospital where I work is that you may not return to work for 48 hours after your last symptoms. They assume you are infectious until then. There are also various guidelines about how to clean to decontaminatio three environment but it sounds like you are probably still potentially infectious. Sorry!
posted by kadia_a at 9:46 PM on December 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

Unless your son has a medical condition that would make an otherwise straightforward illness more serious I would not cancel the visit. Definitely be scrupulous about hand washing and not sharing eating utensils, etc. it all boils down to the risk of getting a “stomach bug” (which can cover a lot of different things) versus the benefit of spending holiday time with the family. The latter part of that calculation will vary from family to family, of course.
posted by TedW at 3:38 AM on December 25, 2017 [5 favorites]

You definitely still run the risk of being contagious, and the world is full of stories of professional kitchens with otherwise excellent hygiene practices causing (e.g.) norovirus outbreaks by letting people prepare food too soon after symptoms pass. I guess it's up to your son to decide, but I think you should let him know it's a risk.
posted by howfar at 6:18 AM on December 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes, you are still contagious. Unless you are cleaning your environment with actual bleach or hydrogen peroxide, your environment still has virus in it that can make others sick. Clean really good and catch up this weekend.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 7:25 AM on December 25, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks for all the good advice!

We have decided to postpone. It is my birthday this weekend, so we can have a combined Christmas/Mom's birthday celebration, when we are all (I hope!) in good health.
posted by merejane at 7:51 AM on December 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

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