Viral Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection caused by many other viruses. Viral Gastroenteritis is a contagious disease and has signs and symptoms of diarrhea among people.
Some People suffering from viral gastroenteritis can recover without any medications and complications. However, in some cases it can become severe for people and then it will be difficult for them to drink enough fluids to fill the stomach what is lost through vomiting and diarrhea.
The primary symptom of viral gastroenteritis is the watery diarrhea and vomiting due to viral infection.
Other symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include:
- Abdominal pain
The symptoms may or may not relate to viral gastroenteritis. However, it is recommended if you have serious symptoms of any one of these you need to consult your doctor immediately.
The viruses that cause viral gastroenteritis actually kill the healthy cells in the lining of the small intestine. As a result, excessive fluids are leaked from the cells into the intestine and causes vomiting and diarrhea.
- Rotavirus - It is the main cause of gastroenteritis among children. Most children have been exposed to the virus at early. The symptoms among children with rotavirus results in vomiting and watery diarrhea for many days with fever and abdominal pain. Rotavirus is contagious, affecting others who are in close contact with infected children, but the symptoms in adults are less.
- Adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41 cause gastroenteritis primarily among children as young as 2 years. Vomiting and Watery Diarrhea are the primary symptoms of Adenovirus
- Astrovirus – Usually infects infants, young children, and the elderly. The virus is most common during the winter season. Again vomiting and diarrhea appear within 1 to 3 days of exposure.
Viral gastroenteritis is often wrongly called stomach flu, but it is not caused by the influenza virus and it does not infect the stomach. And also viral gastroenteritis is not caused by bacteria or parasites.
Viral gastroenteritis is highly contagious. The viruses are normally transmitted on unwashed hands. People can get the viruses through close contact with infected individuals with viral gastroenteritis, such as sharing their food, drink, or eating utensils, or by eating food or drinking beverages that are contaminated with the virus – food and water.
It can occur in any places such as childcare unit, schools, colleges, nursing home, ships, restaurants and other place where people usually gather. If you suspect that you were exposed to a virus in one of these settings, you need to consult doctor for immediate prevention.
If you are infected with viral gastroenteritis, you need to visit your doctor for the possible diagnose process and early detection of any virus. Doctors normally diagnose viral gastroenteritis based on the symptoms and a physical examination that is done at doctor’s clinic. The doctor may ask for a stool sample to test for rotavirus or to rule out bacteria or parasites as the cause of your symptoms.
The antibiotics are not effective against viral infections of viral gastroenteritis. The treatment is to reduce the symptoms and prevention against any virus or bacteria.
Human body needs sufficient fluids to be active. Dehydration causes the excessive loss of fluids from your body. Salts and Minerals known as electrolytes are also lost with the fluids. Dehydration can be caused by diarrhea, vomiting, excessive urination, or excessive sweating, or by not drinking enough fluids because of nausea, difficulty swallowing, or loss of appetite.
The symptoms of dehydration are:
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth
- Little or no urine or dark yellow urine
- Decreased tears
- Severe weakness or lethargy
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor. Drinking liquids can help treat and reduce dehydration. Severe dehydration may require intravenous fluids and hospitalization.
Prevention can help avoid viral gastroenteritis. There is no vaccine available for viral gastroenteritis. You can avoid it with the following steps:
- Washing your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers
- Washing your hands thoroughly before eating
- Avoiding contaminated food and water