- With Mayo Clinic internist
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.James Steckelberg, M.D.
Dr. James Steckelberg is a consultant in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
A native of Fremont, Neb., Dr. Steckelberg was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine as a resident in internal medicine and a fellow in infectious diseases, and is board certified in both. He is the former director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Steckelberg belongs to numerous professional organizations. He is a founding member of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has served on many Mayo Clinic committees and is a member of the Department of Medicine Leadership Committee and of the executive committee of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He also served on the editorial boards of "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" and "Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy" and has been an editorial reviewer for more than a dozen publications.
Dr. Steckelberg's research interests include experimental models of infection, epidemiology of infection, and antimicrobial resistance and therapy of bacterial infections.
Stomach flu: How long am I contagious?
How long am I contagious if I have the stomach flu?
from James M. Steckelberg, M.D.
You can be contagious from a few days to two weeks, depending on which virus is causing your stomach flu (gastroenteritis). A number of viruses can cause gastroenteritis, including noroviruses and rotaviruses. The contagious period — the time during which a sick person can give the illness to others — is slightly different for each virus.
- Norovirus. With norovirus — the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in adults — you're contagious from the moment you begin to feel ill. Symptoms appear within one to three days of exposure. Although you typically feel better after a day or two, you're contagious for at least three days after you've recovered. Some people may be contagious for up to two weeks after recovery. Also, children are often contagious for a longer period than are adults.
- Rotavirus. Symptoms of rotavirus — the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis in infants and young children — appear one to two days after exposure. But you're contagious even before you develop symptoms, and you typically remain contagious for two weeks after you've recovered. Children are often contagious for a longer period than are adults.
The viruses that cause gastroenteritis are spread through close contact with infected people, such as by sharing food or eating utensils. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer is the most effective way to stop the spread of these viruses to others.Next question
Flu shot: Will it prevent the stomach flu?
- Viral gastroenteritis. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/viralgastroenteritis/. Accessed Jan. 9, 2012.
- Blacklow NR. Epidemiology of viral gastroenteritis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 5, 2012.
- Bernstein DI. Rotavirus overview. The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal. 2009;28(suppl):S50.
- Norovirus illness: Key facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/norovirus-keyfacts.htm. Accessed Jan. 9, 2012.