Are any gastrointestinal diseases contagious?

Yes, some are contagious, but mostly those dealing with viruses or bacteria which are known in general to most people as “stomach bugs” or the “stomach flu”. This is known as gastroenteritis and is highly contagious and typically causes vomiting and/or diarrhea. Viral or infectious (bacterial) gastroenteritis have a variety of different sources, some more commonly heard agents are rotavirus, norovirus, E. Coli, and salmonella. Other conditions such as hernias, gastrointestinal cancers, appendicitis, gallbladder disease, acid reflux or heartburn, and diverticulitis to name a few are not contagious.
Dr. Harsha Vittal, MD

Some gastrointestinal (GI) disorders can be contagious, the most common being infectious diarrhea. In this video, gastroenterologist Harsha Vittal, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital describes other GI diseases and how they spread.

There are infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that are contagious, says Ernest Digiovanni, DO, from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Learn more in this video.

Continue Learning about Digestive Diseases

Digestive Diseases

Digestive diseases, also known as gastrointestinal diseases, are disorders that affect your esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. The symptoms of digestive diseases vary widely depending on which part of your digestiv...

e system is affected. Generally symptoms can be blood in your stool, a change in bowel habits, pain, weight loss or heartburn that is not relieved by antacids. See you doctor if you have any of these signs of digestive disease.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.