Viral Gastroenteritis - What It Is, Causes and Treatmentswhich we should not ignore. In additionViral Gastroenteritisis an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever. The most common way to developViral Gastroenteritis- often called stomach flu - is through contact with an infected person or intake of contaminated food or water. If you are healthy, you will probably recover without complications. But for infants, older adults and people with compromised immune systems, theViral Gastroenteritiscan be deadly.
There is no effective treatment forViral Gastroenteritis, so prevention is key. In addition to avoiding food and water that may be contaminated, thorough and frequent handwashing is your best defense.
Causes of Viral Gastroenteritis:You are likely to hireViral Gastroenteritiswhen you eat or drink contaminated food or water, or if you share utensils, towels, or food with someone infected. Several viruses can causeViral Gastroenteritis, including:
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- Norovirus.Children and adults are affected by norovirus, the most common cause of foodborne illness in the world. Norovirus infection can sweep families and communities. It is especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces. In most cases, you choose the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person transmission is also possible.
- Rotavirus.Around the world, this is the most common cause ofViral Gastroenteritisin children, who are usually infected when they put their fingers or other objects contaminated with the virus in their mouths. The infection is more severe in infants and young children. Adults infected with rotavirus may have no symptoms but may still spread the disease - from a particular institutional contexts, because unconsciously infected adults can pass the virus to others. A vaccine againstViral Gastroenteritisis available in some countries, including the United States, and appears to be effective in preventing infection.
Some clams, especially raw or undercooked oysters, can also make you sick. Although contaminated drinking water is a cause of viral diarrhea, in many cases, the virus passes through the fecal-oral - that is, someone with a virus handles food they eat without washing their hands after using WC.
Symptoms of Viral Gastroenteritis:Although it is commonly called stomach flu,Viral Gastroenteritisis not the same as the flu. Real influenza (influenza) only affects your respiratory system - your nose, throat and lungs. THEViral Gastroenteritis, on the other hand, attacks your intestines, causing signs and symptoms such as:.
- Watery diarrhea, usually non-bloody diarrhea - bloody diarrhea usually means you have a different and more serious infection
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Nausea, vomiting, or both
- Occasional muscle pain or headache
- Low fever
Depending on the cause, the symptoms ofViral Gastroenteritismay appear within one to three days after infection and may range from mild to severe. The symptoms usually last only a day or two, but occasionally they can last up to 10 days. As the symptoms are similar, it is easy to confuse viral diarrhea with diarrhea caused by bacteria such as Clostridium difficile, salmonella and E. coli, or parasites, such as giardia.
When to Contact a Physician:If you haveViral Gastroenteritis, talk to your doctor if:
- You can not keep liquids for 24 hours
- You vomited more than two days ago
- You are vomiting blood.
- You are dehydrated - signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine or little or no urine, and severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
- You notice blood in your bowel movements
- You have a fever above 104 F (40 C)
Risk Factors of Viral Gastroenteritis:THEViral Gastroenteritisoccurs all over the world, affecting people of all ages, races and backgrounds. People who may be more susceptible toViral Gastroenteritisinclude:.
- Small children.Children in child care centers or primary schools can be especially vulnerable because it takes time to mature a child's immune system.
- Older adults.Adult immune systems tend to become less efficient later in life. The elderly in nursing homes in particular are vulnerable because their immune systems weaken and live in close contact with others who may pass germs together.
- Students, partygoers or dormitory residents.Wherever groups of people gather in close proximity, it can be an environment for an intestinal infection to pass.
- Anyone with a weakened immune system.If your resistance to infection is low - for example, if your immune system is compromised by HIV / AIDS, chemotherapy or other medical condition - you may be especially at risk.
Each gastrointestinal virus has a season when it is most active. If you live in the northern hemisphere, for example, you are more likely to have rotavirus or norovirus infections between October and April.
Complications of Viral Gastroenteritis:The main complication ofViral Gastroenteritisis dehydration - a severe loss of water and essential salts and minerals. If you are healthy and drink enough to replace the fluids you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration should not be a problem.
Babies, older adults, and people with a suppressed immune system can become severely dehydrated when they lose more fluids than they can replace. Hospitalization may be necessary so that lost fluids can be replaced intravenously. Dehydration can be fatal, but rarely..
Diagnosis of Viral Gastroenteritis:Your doctor will likely diagnoseViral Gastroenteritisbased on symptoms, a physical examination and sometimes on the presence of similar cases in your community. A rapid stool test can detect rotavirus or norovirus, but there are no rapid tests for other viruses that causeViral Gastroenteritis. In some cases, your doctor may make you send a stool sample to rule out a possible bacterial or parasitic infection.
Treatments of Viral Gastroenteritis:Often, there is no specific medical treatment forViral Gastroenteritis. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and overcoming them may contribute to the development of strains resistant to antibiotics from bacteria. Treatment consists initially of self-care measures.
Prevention of Viral Gastroenteritis:The best way to preventViral Gastroenteritisand thespread of intestinal infections is to follow these precautions:.
- Get vaccinated.A vaccine againstViral Gastroenteritiscaused by rotavirus is available in some countries, including Brazil. Given to children in the first year of life, the vaccine appears to be effective in preventing severe symptoms of this disease.
- Wash hands thoroughly.And make sure your kids do too. If your children are older, teach them to wash their hands, especially after using the toilet. It is best to use warm soapy water and rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, remembering to wash the cuticles, under the nails and in the vines. Then rinse thoroughly. Take towels and hand sanitizer for times when there is no soap and water.
- Use separate personal items in your home.Avoid sharing utensils, glasses and eating plates. Use separate towels in the bathroom.
- Keep your distance.Avoid close contact with anyone who has the virus, if possible.
- Disinfect hard surfaces.If someone in your household hasViral Gastroenteritis,disinfect hard surfaces such as counters, faucets, and doorknobs with a mixture of two cups bleach with one gallon of water.
- Check out your child care center.Make sure the center has separate rooms for changing diapers and preparing or serving food. The room with the diaper changing table should have a sink as well as a sanitary way of discarding diapers.
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Take Precautions While Traveling:When you travel in other countries, you may become sick with contaminated food or water. You can reduce your risk ofViral Gastroenteritisfollowing these tips:
- Drink only tightly bottled or carbonated water.
- Avoid ice cubes because they can be made from contaminated water.
- Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
- Avoid raw foods - including peeled fruits, raw vegetables and salads - that have been touched by human hands.
- Avoid undercooked meat and fish.
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