Disinfecting House for Large Family Gathering After Stomach Flu

Updated on December 26, 2008
E.C. asks from Wright City, MO
7 answers

Hello everyone. THe last of the 6 people in my house has got the stomach flu today. I have my side of the family over on Saturday (the 27th) and am concerned about sharing the illness. Does anyone have any specific tips besides the obvious, lysol, wipe surfaces, kitchen, bathrooms, clean sheets. I am planning on doing all that for the 5th time but I don't want 25 other people to get this.

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answers from St. Louis on

According to my understanding, what most people call stomach flu isn't the flu at all. The flu, which is contageous as an airborn virus that a cough can easily spread, is mainly a resperatory infection accompanied by body aches, often in the joints, and fevers. Some forms of flu will also be accompanied by some abdominal discomfort and a bit of flushing, often resulting from the fever, but the main symptoms are experienced in the sinuses, throat, and lungs.

What most folks refer to as stomach flu is more of a viral, parasitic, or bacterial infection of the gastro-intestinal tract and was more likely introduced in something everyone ate or drank. The symptoms may include fever, and chills, but always result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or some combination of the three. If it was shared person to person, it was likely from more intimate contact or sharing a glass, dish, or some eating or cooking utensil.

If this fits the description, I would use a grain alcohol, such as vodka, to clean my kitchen surfaces, especially cutting boards, etc. This is probably the most important step. I would do the same for all bathrooms. I would also launder all clothes and bed coverings. If you keep pillows on the sofa and family members spent some sick time on the couch, you might want to spray them with some watered down alcohol and toss them in the dryer.

Grain alcohol is more effective than lysol and less toxic as well. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when using it as it really dries the skin. I'm a big believer in the basic three for cleaning: alcohol, baking soda, or vinegar.

Although you can't get it at a local store, there is a really pleasant smelling, perfectly natural, organic, and highly effective disinfecting household cleaner made by Young Living Essential Oils. Their Thieves Household Cleaner is the best. It is called Thieves because it uses a blend of therapeutic grade essential oils which a band of thieves in the middle ages used to soak their gloves in so they could lute the homes of plague victims without getting sick. It worked then and it works now. They also have Thieves lozenges, hand soap, etc. I'm not into selling, but I became a member just because their products are so good and I want to use them. A few of my friends signed up under me and I get a commission check that covers most of what I spend with them. It really isn't a bad deal at all and my friends love their stuff as much as I do. You can find them on line. If you would like some help, I can connect you with someone who knows more about it.

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answers from St. Louis on

Use those wipes on all your door knobs and phones and the remotes!!! That will be most helpful! Have fun and enjoy the holiday-just don't kiss anyoe except on the cheek. :-)



answers from Kansas City on

Don't forget to wipe all door knobs, handles and faucets too! Merry Christmas!!



answers from Joplin on

Don't forget door knobs and telephones. Good luck!!!



answers from Topeka on

I think you are covering the disinfecting very well but I do have one word of advice. If anyone in your family is still running a fever on the 27th..it doesn't matter HOW WELL you clean and scrub...they are still leaving germs behind them every time they breath, cough, sneeze, or touch anything!!!! If that is the case I would sadly have to delay the family gathering until everyone is well...I am sure it will be appreciated by everyone.
Merry Christmas!!!!



answers from St. Louis on

I have heard the fever thing, too. If you have a fever, you are contageous.

I would walk around slowly with a disinfecting spray and wipe thing about ANYTHING anyone might have touched or breathed on or even transfered from one object to another. Like a stuffed animal/pillow and then it went on the couch.

Wash dishes in the dishwasher. Toilet handles and seats.

Be prepared that if your guests find out before or after, some may freak out and not come or get upset. We had issues with our playgroup and some people are very germaphobic. Not like I want people to get sick, but I'm sure you understand.



answers from St. Louis on

Oh my goodness! My husabnds step brothers kids had this last weekend and they came over Christmas Eve and now my daughter and Husband are curled up in the fetal position is their beds right now! I was up every hour with my three year old while she threw up everywhere!! I dont care what anyone says, I think you are contagious for a whole week with this little 24 hour bug! I am praying my three month old doesnt get it! Im still hanging in there, I dont know whos going to take care of the baby if I get it!! This sucks!! I hope it doesnt get spread! I wish they would have given us a heads up before they came over. I would let everyone know and then let them decide if they still want to come over. Its not fun!

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