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Should You Miss Work Because of a Stomach Virus?

The surprise of a stomach virus can sneak up on you in the morning, or slowly creep up on you throughout the day.  The stomach virus is painful and the symptoms are often hard to control.  The stomach virus accounts for more sick days than a sore throat, cold symptoms and fevers.  But, when should you call in sick if you have the stomach bug?


When to Call In Sick

People with the stomach virus can be contagious from 3 days to 2 weeks.  The virus can remain your stool and vomit even if you are symptoms free.  It’s important to call in sick if you are contagious.  Millions of little viruses are thriving in your vomit and diarrhea, and it’s important to reduce someone else’s exposure.

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Extremely drowsy


How to Work Through a Stomach Virus

If aren’t in a position to call in sick, or you simply don’t want to, there are a few things you can do to help you cope with stomach virus symptoms throughout the day.


  • Avoid coffee, tea and soda
  • Drink clear liquids that are low in sugar and high in electrolytes
  • Stick to a bland diet
  • Try to eat soup if you can keep food down
  • Stay close to a bathroom
  • Stay near a fan in case you start to feel warm
  • Try to remain relaxed and avoid unnecessary stress
  • Dull the pain with an over-the-counter medication such as: Pepto, ibuprofen or acetaminophen


Use common sense when you are debating whether or not you should stay home.  Listen to your body to make the right decision about your care.