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What Is Gastroenteritis?

Monday, 13 Jun 2011 04:37 PM

Gastroenteritis, often referred to as “stomach flu,” is a condition that results in inflammation of the GI tract, including the stomach and the intestines. Gastroenteritis is most often caused by a viral infection but can also be the result of bacterial or parasitic infection.

Common symptoms include vomiting, loose and watery stools (diarrhea), and abdominal pain. Other symptoms of gastroenteritis include fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, and muscular pains. Viral gastroenteritis is caused by consumption of contaminated food or water. It is contagious and can spread through contact with infected persons.

Stomach flu is quite prevalent among young children and travelers. Dehydration is usually the biggest problem associated with stomach flu because an affected person will tend to lose fluids through diarrhea or vomiting. It is crucial to prevent dehydration-related complications and replace lost electrolytes by drinking ORS solutions, fresh lime water, and thin soups. This is especially necessary for children and the elderly.

While traveling, it is best to be prudent in your prevention strategies. Wash hands frequently, drink distilled water when traveling, and avoid street food. Some medications such as Phenergan and Compazine may be prescribed to relieve the vomiting sensation or stomach pain should a person become infected.

For more information on gastroenteritis, see below:

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