Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide
An intestinal infection caused by a virus can cause signs and symptoms such as diarrhea that is watery, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever as well.
The most common ways to contract viral gastroenteritis, often known as stomach flu, are through direct contact with an infected person or through the consumption of food or water that has been tainted with the virus. It is possible that you will recover without experiencing any difficulties if you are generally healthy. However, newborns, elderly adults, and persons whose immune systems are already impaired are more likely to pass away as a result of viral gastroenteritis.
There is currently no cure for viral gastroenteritis, making prevention the most important treatment option. Steer clear of food and water that may be tainted, and ensure that you carefully and routinely wash your hands.
Gastroenteritis is not the same as the flu, despite the fact that many people refer to it as stomach flu. Only your respiratory system, which includes your nose, throat, and lungs, can become infected with influenza. On the other hand, gastroenteritis is an infection that targets your intestines and can cause signs and symptoms such as the following:
Depending on what caused the infection, the symptoms of viral gastroenteritis can occur anywhere from one to three days after the initial infection and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms often only last for one or two days, although in rare cases, they might persist for as long as a month.
It is easy to confuse viral diarrhea with diarrhea caused by bacteria, such as Clostridioides difficile, salmonella, and Escherichia coli, or by parasites, such as giardia, because the symptoms are identical for all three types of diarrhea.
Call your doctor immediately if you are an adult and any of the following apply to you:
Immediately consult your child's primary care physician if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms:
If you have a young child, it is important to keep in mind that while gagging and spitting up are normal behaviors for babies, and vomiting is not one of them. There are numerous different causes of infant vomiting, and the majority of them may require medical intervention.
Please get in touch with your child's pediatrician as soon as possible if your child:
If you eat or drink something that is contaminated, you significantly increase your risk of developing viral gastroenteritis. If you share utensils, towels, or food with someone who is infected with one of the viruses that cause gastroenteritis, there is a chance that you will also become afflicted with the ailment.
There are a number of viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, including the following:
The vast majority of times, the virus is caught by consuming tainted food or drinking water. However, it is also possible for it to spread between people who are in close proximity to one another or who share food. It is also possible to contract the virus by touching a surface that has been contaminated with norovirus and then touching your mouth thereafter. This is another method of transmission.
Even if they don't have symptoms, adults who are infected with rotavirus can still spread the infection to others. Because people who are infected with the virus can transmit it to others without their knowledge, this is a particularly pressing issue in institutional settings like nursing homes. It is possible to get a vaccine that protects against viral gastroenteritis in certain nations, one of which is the United States. This vaccine appears to be effective in warding off the sickness.
There is also seafood that can make you sick, particularly oysters that are eaten raw or only partially cooked. In some cases, viral diarrhea might be attributed to consuming contaminated water. However, the virus can be passed on to you if the person who handles the food you consume after they have used the restroom does not wash their hands and then touches the food you eat.
The infectious disease known as gastroenteritis can strike people of any age anywhere in the world.
People who are more likely to be at risk for gastroenteritis include the following:
Compromised Immune system
Every virus that infects the gastrointestinal tract has a certain time of year when it is at its peak activity. In the winter and spring, people who reside in the Northern Hemisphere have a higher risk of contracting rotavirus and norovirus infections than people who live in other parts of the world.
The most common and serious complication of viral gastroenteritis is dehydration, which is characterized by a significant loss of water as well as important salts and minerals. If you are healthy and consume enough fluids to replenish the fluids that you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, you shouldn't have a problem with being dehydrated.
When people lose more fluids than they can replace, they run the risk of being severely dehydrated. This is especially true for infants, older adults, and persons with compromised immune systems. It is possible that they will require hospitalization in order to have their fluid levels restored via an IV implanted in their arms. In extreme cases, dehydration might even be fatal.
Following these preventative measures is the most effective strategy to stop the spread of gastrointestinal infections:
Always remember to wash your hands after changing diapers as well as before eating or preparing food. It is preferable to wash one's hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds while thoroughly rubbing them together. Be sure to clean the wrinkles in your hands as well as the areas surrounding your fingernails and cuticles. After that, give it a good rinse. Always be prepared for situations in which you won't have access to soap and water by packing sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer in your bag.
Sealed Water Bottle
It is possible to become ill while traveling to foreign nations as a result of consuming food or water that has been tainted. It's possible that if you follow these suggestions, you'll be able to lower your risk: