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What is Viral Gastroenteritis?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 11, 2011
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection caused by several different viruses.
  • You can get viral gastroenteritis is by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea and fever.
  • As of now, there is no medical treatment for viral gastroenteritis.

More

Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection caused by several different viruses. Highly contagious, viral gastroenteritis is the second most common illness in the United States. It causes millions of cases of diarrhea each year.

 

viral gastroenteritis

 

Anyone can get viral gastroenteritis and most people recover without any complications. However, viral gastroenteritis can be serious when people cannot drink enough fluids to replace what is lost through vomiting and diarrhea—especially infants, young children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems.

 

Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection caused by several different viruses. It causes millions of cases of diarrhoea each year. Anyone can get viral gastroenteritis and most people recover without any complications. However, viral gastroenteritis can be serious when people cannot drink enough fluids to replace what is lost through vomiting and diarrhoea—especially infants, young children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems.

 

Causes

The most common manner in which you can get viral gastroenteritis is by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Share utensils, towels or food with someone who's infected also ups the risk of contracting viral gastroenteritis. The viruses that can cause gastroenteritis are as follows.

Noroviruses – Children and adults both can be affected by noroviruses. It is also the leading cause of foodborne illness worldwide. It's more likely to affect those in confined spaces. You can pick up the virus from contaminated food or water.

Rotavirus – This virus is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, as they may put their fingers or objects contaminated with the virus into their mouths. The infection is severe in infants and young children. Adults who are infected may not exhibit any symptoms but can still spread the illness.

 

Symptoms

Viral gastroenteritis attacks your intestines, causing various signs and symptoms. Watery, usually non-bloody diarrhoea, abdominal cramps/pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, headache and fever. The symptoms appear within one to three days after you're infected.

 

Treatment

There's no definite medical treatment for viral gastroenteritis. To some extent, the antibiotics are effective against viruses, but antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria may develop.

 

Prevention

As there is no treatment for viral gastroenteritis, precautions is what you can do to prevent the spread of intestinal infections. Some precautions that you must follow are getting your child vaccinated for gastroenteritis, wash your hands thoroughly, use separate personal items around your home and disinfect hard surfaces. Moreover, you need to take precautions when travelling abroad.

 


Read more articles on Understand Viral Gastroenteritis.

 


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