What Symptoms Appear If You Have Bacteria in Your Stomach?

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Symptoms of a bacterial infection of the stomach depend on the type of causal bacteria and may include nausea, fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and blood in the stool, according to Healthline. Any adult whose symptoms last longer than five days requires medical attention. Babies under 3 months with diarrhea or vomiting, babies older than 3 months who vomit for 12 hours, and children who present the symptoms for longer than two days need a doctor’s attention.

Bacterial gastroenteritis is a bacterial infection of the stomach that a person catches when he is exposed to contaminated food and water or animals, explains Healthline. Types of bacteria that cause this infection include the E. coli, salmonella and Yersinia bacteria found in ground beef, dairy products and pork, respectively. Improper food handling, such as undercooking it, leaving it out in warm temperatures for too long or heating it insufficiently; a weakened immune system; or drugs that decrease the stomach’s acidity all increase a person’s risk of developing bacterial gastroenteritis.

To prevent bacterial gastroenteritis, a person needs to practice good hygiene, adds Healthline. This includes washing hands after visiting the toilet, avoiding drinking unpasteurized milk and washing vegetables and salads fastidiously. A common name for bacterial gastroenteritis is food poisoning.