Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It may be caused by infection by bacteria, virus, or parasite that is passed through contaminated food or water, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. Gastroenteritis occurs in people of all genders and ages.

  • Viruses, such as norovirus and rotavirus.
  • Bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella, and shigella.
  • Parasites, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.
  • Eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Contact with contaminated objects.
  • Contact with an infected person.
  • Not washing hands after using the toilet or changing diaper.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis depends on the cause of the inflammation. Symptoms may last from one day to several weeks. Common symptoms include:
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Diarrhea, watery stool.
  • Abdominal pain, cramping.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Dehydration due to diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Patient history, including symptoms and medical history.
  • Other tests, such as stool analysis.
There is currently no specific treatment for gastroenteritis caused by viruses. Doctors will treat symptoms, such as prescribing anti-nausea medication, fever-reducing medication, pain medication, etc. If the condition is caused by bacteria or parasite, medication to kill these are prescribed.
  • Drink water or electrolytes to replace the lost fluids from diarrhea and prevent dehydration.
  • Get adequate rest.
  • Eat soft foods.
  • Take all medication prescribed, such as fever-reducing medication, pain medication, anti-nausea medication, etc.
  • Stay home from work, school, or daycare for at least two days and avoid visiting patients at the hospital at this time.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, after sneezing and coughing, after changing diapers, and before and after preparing food.
  • Clean all surfaces at home with a disinfectant product.
  • Separate clothes, towels, and beddings of the sick person and wash separately.
  • Do not share towels, utensils, and other personal products with the patient.
  • Eat food that is well cooked.

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