Is food poisoning contagious? Here's how it spreads and how to treat it

Food poisoning can ruin not only your meal, but also your day.

According to the Mayo Clinic, food poisoning, also known as foodborne illness, is caused by consuming contaminated food. The most common causes of food poisoning include bacteria, viruses and/or parasites, says Mayo Clinic.

This sickness can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps, according to Mayo Clinic.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 48 million Americans get sick from "foodborne diseases" each year. If you have recently eaten with someone who has food poisoning, you may worry if the sickness is contagious and is coming your way next.

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Is food poisoning contagious?

Certain types of food poisoning are contagious. Whether food poisoning is contagious depends on the type of bacteria, virus or parasite that caused it, according to Healthline.

Food poisoning is infectious, but this does not mean it is necessarily contagious from person to person, says 360training.com. More often, foodborne illness, such as salmonella or E.coli, is given by animals to humans.

In general, if you are in close contact with someone who has food poisoning, it is best to stay away, says Healthline.

According to Self, you can get food poisoning not only by eating contaminated foods, but also from exposure to bodily fluids, including diarrhea or vomit, of an infected person.

If someone has food poisoning, they should stay home, disinfect and not handle food or drinks until symptoms are gone, says Healthline.

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How long does food poisoning last?

Depending on the type of food poisoning you have, symptoms can last less than a week to longer, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Most symptoms of foodborne illness appear within minutes to hours, such as in norovirus or staph. In other cases, symptoms can appear much later, including for cyclospora and listeria food poisoning, according to the CDC.

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What medicine helps with food poisoning?

Over-the-counter medicines, such as Pepto Bismol and Kaopectate, can help treat diarrhea induced by food poisoning in adults, according to NIDDK. If your child has food poisoning, consult your doctor before giving them these medicines, says NIDDK.

Other treatments for food poisoning can include a doctor-prescribed antibiotic, medicines or probiotics, says NIDDK. Additionally, to treat food poisoning, it is important to hydrate to replace lost fluids and electrolytes, according to NIDDK.

For adults, water, diluted fruit juices, sports drinks and broths can help rehydrate. For children, oral rehydration solutions, including Pedialyte, Infalyte and CeraLyte, can be given as directed, says NIDDK.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is food poisoning contagious? Learn how the illness spreads