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Norovirus stomach infection. Can Z-Pak get rid of this? How do we end the infection cycle in the family?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1993
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My family has had the stomach virus going through the household since Thursday 2/2 where I was the first one to get it. Proceeding right after was my 1 year old daughter, the nanny, my mother-in-law and then my wife. We all got through it over the past 3 days but now again as of yesterday I have it again where I was not having any symptoms for approx 1 week. I have a few questions, first I did see my regular doctor back on 2/3 and he said it was probably the norovirus as it is going around my area a lot but I have the following questions:

#1. Is there a chance of a bacterial infection where antibiotics such as a Z-Pac could help get rid of this? I assume no based on the fact that it has hit 5 of us.

#2. How do we end this cycle of going through the household? If I am having it again does it mean the virus probably mutated in that time we all had it or could symptoms jut reappear for a while and if so what is the usual duration of this at its longest peak?

Thanks this is very important to our family health, especially my one year old I don't want to go through the vomiting and pedialyte over and over again.
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shainaz Arif Kaware 1 hour later
Hello XXXXXXX

Thanks for your query. I will try my best to guide you.

If there is a sort of viral infection (Norovirus) going on in your area then many of the people can get infected. In case of stomach infection the main mode of transmission of infection is through infected food and water. As far as the repeat of infection is there; yes there is always a possibility of a super added bacterial infection so many a times antibiotics may be needed to treat the infection.

Z-pac is an antibiotic belonging to Macrolide group so it is used mainly to treat infections due to atypical bacteria organisms. The prophylactic use of such antibiotics is common amongst medical community to prevent bacterial infection; which generally takes advantage of viral infection.

The antibiotic if needed should be selected by your doctor only after testing of your stools so please consult your doctor and get prescription.

Commonly the antibiotics indicated in gastro intestinal infections are metronidazole;and ciprofloxacin and belonging to their group.

Your doctor will be the better person to decide it.

Lastly as a precaution or preventive measures:-

-Everybody in your family should drink boiled water;
-Completely avoid outside food;
-Avoid meat;fish;as far as possible especially from outside.

Hope I have answered all your queries. Please accept my answer if you have no further queries.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Norovirus stomach infection. Can Z-Pak get rid of this? How do we end the infection cycle in the family? 2 hours later
I am somewhat confused. Based on the fact that the entire household has come in contact and has had the 24 to 72 hour stomach virus would that not prove the fact that it is a viral infection? What are some symptoms of it being a bacterial infection vs viral?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shainaz Arif Kaware 1 hour later
Hello XXXXXXX

Thanks for writing back.

Usually few of the symptoms of both bacterial and viral infection are similar like the following,

- Watery loose stools,
- Vomiting,
- Pain in abdomen.

The signs of bacterial infection are:-

- Blood in stools,
- Pain in abdomen is more severe.

If the cause is viral it will be associated with symptoms like:-

- Fever,
- Fatigue,
- Headaches,
- muscle pains.

The other difference is that viral infection is self limiting and usually the symptoms subside in a week.

Hope I have answered your query. Please accept this answer in case you don't have any further queries.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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