The inner lining of your digestive tract might become inflamed, swollen, and irritated when you have viral gastroenteritis. A virus causes this disease. Your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine can all become infected.
It is pretty typical to get viral gastroenteritis. It usually lasts a few days and doesn’t need to be treated. Dehydration from fluid loss from diarrhea and vomiting is the main risk.
What Causes Viral Gastroenteritis
Numerous viruses can bring on gastroenteritis. Viruses can be detected in an infected person’s feces and vomit. It has a long lifespan outside of the body. If an infected person doesn’t wash their hands after using the restroom, they run the risk of spreading the infection to anything they touch. Food and drinks consumed by infected food workers can pass the sickness to others. Also, It is possible for the disease to spread if sewage enters the water source. Although viral gastroenteritis is commonly referred to as “stomach flu,” it is not caused by the seasonal influenza (flu) virus.
Here are the common viruses that cause gastroenteritis:
Rotavirus. Infants between the ages of three and fifteen months are the ones that contract this virus the most frequently. It lasts 3 to 7 days and is most prevalent in the fall and winter.
Norovirus. This virus is the most frequent cause of adult infections and is frequently blamed for outbreaks aboard cruise ships. Symptoms might appear any time of the year and continue for one to three days.
Adenovirus. Children under 2 are susceptible to this virus year-round. Symptoms last for five to twelve days.
Many other viruses can cause viral gastroenteritis
What are the Symptoms of Viral Gastroenteritis?
Viral gastroenteritis symptoms often appear one to two days after the virus enters the body.
Some of the common symptoms include:
Vomiting Nausea Watery diarrhea
Other symptoms include:
Fever Headache Chills Stomachache
There can also be signs of dehydration:
Decreased urine output Dry skin Dark-colored urine
Signs in young children:
Dry diapers from lack of urination, Dry mouth, Lack of tears, Drowsiness
Sunken fontanel (soft spot on the infant’s head)
How is Viral Gastroenteritis Diagnosed?
The doctor will make a diagnosis based on medical history and symptoms. Rarely will you require testing. Your doctor could request a stool sample to check for viruses, germs, and parasites if your symptoms don’t disappear.
Can Viral Gastroenteritis be Prevented?
Rotavirus vaccines are readily available to safeguard youngsters. Before the age of six months, doctors administer vaccinations to infants. By doing the following, you and your kids can help prevent viral gastroenteritis:
After using the restroom, changing a diaper, or before touching any food, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Use sanitizers that contain alcohol.
Use a bleach-based cleaner to clean any surfaces that could be contaminated if someone in the house has gastroenteritis.
Avoid any food or water that has contamination warnings.
How is Viral Gastroenteritis Treated?
Most of the time, no special care is required. Most of the time, you must stay at home and hydrate yourself while you wait for the illness to pass. Rarely, you may require IV (intravenous) fluid therapy for severe dehydration.
Here are some helpful homecare tips if you do catch the virus:
A lot of light liquids should be consumed, such as water, ice chips, fruit juice, and broth. Sports drinks are heavy in sugar and should not be consumed if you are severely dehydrated. You’ll require an oral rehydration solution in this situation.
Drinks with alcohol, coffee, and milk should be avoided.
When you start to feel hungry again, start with soft, simple foods.
Use oral rehydration solutions to rehydrate kids.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider?
In both children and adults, viral gastroenteritis is prevalent. The illness is typically not dangerous and will pass in a few days. If you or a family member experiences vomiting or diarrhea that isn’t improving, if you notice blood or tar-like stool, or if you exhibit any other indicators of dehydration, call your healthcare practitioner immediately.
The lining Inflammation of your digestive tract is known as viral gastroenteritis.
Adenovirus, norovirus, and rotavirus are some of its potential causes.
Rotavirus vaccinations are available for infants.
Vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea are signs of viral gastroenteritis.
The most dangerous side effect of this condition is dehydration.
The disease should pass after a few days, but if vomiting or diarrhea is persistent or there are signs of dehydration, you should seek medical assistance.
Here are some tips that can help you to get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Make a list of questions you want to be answered before your visit.
Bring a companion so you can recall what your provider tells you and ask questions.
Write down any new instructions your doctor offers you during the visit and the names of any new medications, treatments, or tests.
If you have a follow-up appointment, make a note of the day, time, and reason for the visit.
Understand how to get in touch with your provider if you have any questions.