Viral Gastroenteritis

Friday, July 12, 2013

The viruses that cause stomach flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis, can pass through a household, nursery, school, hospital or any other establishment quickly and the results can be painful. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about viral gastroenteritis in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Gastroenteritis is an inflammatory condition of the stomach and intestines. Infection with a virus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in developed countries. Viral gastroenteritis is caused by many types of viruses, including norovirus, rotavirus and adenovirus.

Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include:

Diarrhea

Nausea and vomiting

Abdominal pain and bloating

Fever, malaise and muscle aches may be present but are not always.

Viral gastroenteritis is caused by person-to-person spread and can occur in an outbreak or epidemic (a sudden increase in a particular disease within an area or population).

Most cases of viral gastroenteritis last only a few days, and therefore affected persons do not commonly seek medical attention. Antibiotics or other specific medications are not used to treat viral gastroenteritis. Dehydration is the most common complication, so affected persons should drink plenty of fluids.

The most important way to prevent viral gastroenteritis is to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.