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Gastroenteritis

more about Gastroenteritis


Stomach flu



  • This is inflammation of the stomach and the intestines.  Most people mistakenly call it flu. Gastroenteritis is usually caused by a virus.  True Influenza (i.e., flu) is predominantly a respiratory problem.

  • It can be asymptomatic (i.e., no symptoms)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Watery, bloody, and/or chronic Diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Cramps

  • The most common causes are viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
    1. Viruses, e.g., Norwalk gastroenteritis, rotavirus, enteric adenovirus
    2. Bacteria, e.g., Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus
    3. Parasites, e.g., Entameba histolytica, Giardia lamblia

  • Made on basis of signs and symptoms
  • Testing only to rule out other causes, such as stool examination

  • Young age
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Malnutrition
  • Travel to an endemic areas
  • Lack of breastfeeding
  • Exposure to unsanitary conditions
  • Ingestion of contaminated food or water
  • Day-care center attendance

  • Rest
  • Drink lots of clear liquids -- water, electrolyte-containing beverages, such as sports drinks, and clear juices.
  • BRAT diet may help with Diarrhea -- bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
  • Tylenol for fever and body aches (ibuprofen also may help, but be careful because it can upset the stomach).
  • Antibiotics for Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio cholerae infection
  • Most cases are self-limited and may be treated at home.

  • Hand washing
  • Vaccine to prevent Salmonella and Vibrio cholerae




more about Gastroenteritis


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