Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis

About Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation ('-itis') of the gastrointestinal tract that involves both the stomach and the small intestine, resulting in some combination of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and cramping. Gastroenteritis has also been referred to as gastro, stomach bug, and stomach virus. Although unrelated to influenza, it has also been called stomach flu and gastric flu. Globally, most cases in children are caused by rotavirus. In adults, norovirus and Campylobacter are more common. Less common causes include other bacteria (or their toxins) and parasites. Transmission may occur due to consumption of improperly prepared foods or contaminated water or via close contact with individuals who are infectious. The foundation of management is adequate hydration. For mild or moderate cases, this can typically be achieved via oral rehydration solution. For more severe cases, intravenous fluids may be needed.

Contributions by Una Smith, GrahamColm, and Nescio.