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Viral Gastroenteritis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Viral Gastroenteritis ?

The condition is characterized by:

  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Watery diarrhea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever (rarely).

A direct contact with an infection person, or consuming contaminated water or food serve as the basis to develop the condition. Also known as stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis rarely leads to any complication for a health person. Though for people with a weakened immune system, older adults and infants, the condition can turn fatal.

There is no proven treatment that has worked effectively for a patient with viral gastroenteritis. Thus, prevention is the mere key. Indeed, it is best to avoid contaminated water and food, plus, practicing good hygiene and frequent hand-washing is also important.

What Are The Symptoms Of Viral Gastroenteritis ?

Even though, the condition is commonly referred as stomach flu, yet it is not just the same as influenza. Reason being, influenza is known to affect the respiratory system, for example lungs, throat and nose, whereas the gastroenteritis affects the intestines, sourcing the following indications:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Watery diarrhea.
  • Low grade fever.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Headache or muscle aches (rarely).

Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis may vary in terms of intensity. Often, the signs persist for 24 hours or more, though occasionally, these can continue even for a week or so.

What Causes Viral Gastroenteritis ?

Consumption of contaminated water or food can cause the occurrence of viral gastroenteritis. Besides, sharing personal items such as towels, utensils etc with an infected person can also become the root cause of the condition. Several viruses are known to cause gastroenteritis, for example:

What Are The Risk Factors Of Viral Gastroenteritis ?

The condition is known to occur throughout the globe, and affect individuals regardless of their background, race and age. Though, following people are more prone to develop the condition:

  • Older adults.
  • Young children.
  • Schoolchildren.
  • Dormitory residents or churchgoers.
  • People whose immune systems are weak.

What Are The Complications Of Viral Gastroenteritis ?

The foremost complication is dehydration, wherein your body loses water, as well as the needed minerals and salts. Healthy individuals who intake more fluids, can manage to cope up with the problem. Though for people with a weak immune system, older adults and infants, the problem can become intense. To replace their lost fluids, hospitalization can be required. Sometimes, dehydration can turn deadly.

How Is Viral Gastroenteritis Diagnosed ?

Possibly, the health care provider will detect gastroenteritis on the basis of a physical exam and signs of the patient. In addition to this, a rapid stood test can help identify the virus responsible for sourcing the symptoms.

How Is Viral Gastroenteritis Treated ?

To treat the condition, there is no particular treatment. Antibiotics are not useful enough against the viruses.

How Is Viral Gastroenteritis Preventable ?

The condition that is triggered by rotavirus can be prevented by getting vaccinated against it. Besides,

  • Avoid direct contact with an infected person.
  • Avoid contaminated food and impure water.
  • Wash your hands frequently.

By : Natural Health News

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