The Key Symptoms of Viral Gastroenteritiswhich we should not ignore. In additionViral Gastroenteritisis an inflammation of the stomach and intestine caused by a number of viruses. Also known as stomach flu, theViral Gastroenteritiscan affect anyone in the world. This highly contagious disease spreads through close contact with infected people or with contaminated food or water. It can easily spread closely, such as day care centers, schools, nursing homes and cruise ships. Many different viruses can cause the disease, each with its own peak season. The most common viruses include:
Rotavirus:This virus usually affects children and young children, who then spread the infection to other children and adults. It is usually spread orally, which means that the virus enters the body of a person through the mouth. Symptoms usually appear within two days after infection and include vomiting, loss of appetite and watery diarrhea. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this virus is most common between the months of December and June.
Norovirus:This type of virus is highly contagious and can affect anyone at any age. It is spread by contaminated food, water and surfaces, or by infected people. This type of virus is common in crowded spaces such as nursing homes, day care centers and schools. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, fever, and body aches. Most outbreaks of norovirus in Brazil occur between November and April..
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Causes of Viral Gastroenteritis:THEViral Gastroenteritisis caused by several different viruses. People at higher risk ofViral Gastroenteritisare:
- Children under five
- Older adults, especially if they live in nursing homes
- Children and adults with weakened immune systems
It is easy for this virus to spread among people in group situations, such as in schools, dormitories, hospitals and cruise ships. Some of the ways the virus is transmitted include:.
- Inadequate hand washing, especially by food handlers
- Water contaminated by sewage
- Consuming raw or undercooked crustaceans from contaminated water
Symptoms of Viral Gastroenteritis:Symptoms ofViral Gastroenteritisusually begin one or two days after infection and include:
- Watery diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches
- Pain in the joints
- Fever, chills
- Sweat, damp skin
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
The symptoms can last from one to 10 days..
Complications of Viral Gastroenteritis:The main complication ofViral Gastroenteritisis dehydration, which can be quite serious in infants and young children. Dehydration can be fatal. Call your doctor if you or your child have these symptoms:.
- Diarrhea that lasts more than a few days
- Fecal blood
- Confusion, lethargy
- Feeling weak or dizzy
- Dry mouth
- Unable to produce tears
- There is no urine for more than eight hours or urine that is dark yellow or brown
- Deep eyes
- Sunken fontanelle (the weak spot on a baby's head)
Treatments of Viral Gastroenteritis:The main focus ofViral Gastroenteritisis to prevent dehydration by drinking lots of fluids. In severe cases, hospitalization and intravenous fluids are required. The CDC recommends that oral rehydration solutions (OHS), such as Pedialyte, be kept in the homes of families with young children (CDC). OHS is specially made to be easy on the child's stomach, and they contain a balanced blend of water and salts to replenish essential fluids and electrolytes.
These solutions are available at local pharmacies and do not require a prescription. However, the instructions should be followed carefully. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses. Check with your doctor before taking any over the counter medication. If you haveViral Gastroenteritis, there are some self-care steps you can take:
- Drink extra fluids with and between meals. If you have difficulty drinking, try very small amounts of water or suck ice chips.
- Avoid fruit juices as these do not replace the minerals and can actually increase diarrhea.
- Children and adults may use sports drinks to replenish electrolytes. Young children and infants should use products formulated for children, such as oral rehydration solutions.
- Eat food in small amounts and let your stomach recover.
- Have plenty of rest. You may feel tired or weak.
- Check with your doctor before taking medicines or giving them to children. Never give aspirin to children or adolescents with a viral illness. This can cause Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.
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Prevention of Viral Gastroenteritis:THEViral Gastroenteritisis easily disseminated. There are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of contracting the virus or spreading it to others..
- Wash hands thoroughly, especially after using the toilet and before preparing food. If necessary, use hand sanitizer until you can get soap and water.
- If someone in your home is sick, do not share cooking utensils, dishes, or towels.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked foods.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Take special precautions to avoid contaminated food and water when traveling. Avoid ice cubes and use bottled water whenever possible.
- There are two rotavirus vaccines. These are usually started when a baby is two months old. Ask your doctor if you should have your baby vaccinated.
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