Overview Of Viral Gastroenteritis
Viral gastroenteritis is commonly referred to as the stomach flu. This also emerges from an infection within the intestine or stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms of this.
Commonly Associated With
Gastroenteritis – viral; Diarrhea – viral; Loose stools – viral; Upset stomach – viral; Rotavirus infection – gastroenteritis; Norwalk virus; Gastroenteritis – viral; Stomach flu/
Causes Of Viral Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis can be present in up to a group of people from drinking or eating from the same drinks and food, because of germs that infect these products.
The germs may get into your system in many ways:
- From close contact with others
- Directly from water or food
- By shared common objects such as eating utensils or bowls
Many types of viruses can cause viral gastroenteritis. The most common viruses are:
Rotavirus. This is the leading cause of gastroenteritis in children. Adults who grow exposed to children with the virus and other people living in shared spaces can also more easily contract this virus.
Norovirus (Norwalk-like virus). This is common among school-age children. It is possibly this may then cause vast spreading in hospitals, cruise ships, or any other closed and shared space.
COVID-19. This virus may then cause stomach flu-like symptoms. This is so even when breathing problems are not present.
People with the highest risk for a severe infection will then include older adults, young children, and immune-compromised people.
Symptoms Of Viral Gastroenteritis
Symptoms most often appear within 4 to 48 hours after contact with the virus. Common symptoms will possibly include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
Other symptoms of viral gastroenteritis may also include:
- Chills, clammy skin, or sweating
- Joint stiffness or muscle pain
- Poor feeding
- Weight loss
Exams & Tests
A health care provider can examine for signs ofviral gastroenteritis and dehydration. This will subsequently be what is looked for in an examination:
- Low blood pressure
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Coma or lethargy (severe dehydration)
- Sunken soft spots (fontanelles) on the top of an infant’s head
- No tears
- Sunken eyes
- Low or no urine output. Having concentrated urine that then looks dark and yellowed
- Stool sample tests can also identify the virus that causes a sickness. Most of the time, though, this test is not needed. This is because a stool sample can only tell if the virus is caused by bacteria.
Treatment Of Viral Gastroenteritis
Treatment ensures an affected person has enough water and body fluids. Important fluids and electrolytes (salt and minerals within fluids) are lost because of excess depletion from symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting. These fluids must then be replaced by drinking high amounts of fluids. Even if you are able to eat while infected, you should still drink large amounts of fluids between and with meals.
Older children and adults can consume sports drinks, like Powerade, but these should not be used for younger children. Also, these drinks do not replace a need to drink water. Instead, for children, use electrolyte and fluid replacement solutions, or even frozen ice-pops, in food and drug stores. Because, these hold sugars and electrolytes in them. However, these do not replace a need for water hydration.
Important Things To Known When Rehydrating
- Do NOT drink any sodas or cola (flat or bubbly), Jell-O, fruit juice (including apple juice), or broths. These liquids do not replace lost minerals and can also make diarrhea symptoms worse.
- Drink small amounts of fluids, 2 to 4 oz. / 60 to 120 mL every 30 to 60 minutes. Do not force down large amounts of fluid at once, becuase this might cause the body to reject this mass about of fluid entering the body. It is helpful to use a teaspoon (5 milliliters) or syringe for an infant or small child to ingest this fluid.
- Babies may continue drinking breast milk or formula along with large amounts of hydrating fluids. It is important to note you do not need to switch to a soy formula.
Eat small amounts of food more often instead of large amounts in one sitting.
Foods to try eating while infected with viral gastroenteritis include:
- Plain yogurt, bananas, fresh apples
- Cereals, bread, potatoes, lean meats
- If you have diarrhea and unable to drink or keep fluids down because of nausea, vomiting, or any symptom, you could need fluids through a vein through an IV. Infants and young children are more likely to need IV fluids.
Parents should closely look for the amount of wet diapers an infant or young child has, while infected. Fewer wet diapers are a sign that a child needs more fluids in their system.
People taking diuretic pills who develop diarrhea may be told by their provider to stop taking them until symptoms may alleviate. However, DO NOT stop taking any prescription medicine without first talking to your provider.
Importantly, antibiotics do not treat viral gastroenteritis.
There over-the-counter drugs that can help stop or lessen diarrhea symptoms.
Do not use these types of medicine without talking to your provider if you have bloody diarrhea, a fever, or severe diarrhea.
Do not children consume these medications. .