Gastroenteritis is a viral infection that affects the stomach lining and intestinal function.
Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and often extreme fatigue. Most healthy people will get better in a matter of days, but in some cases gastroenteritis can cause severe dehydration which may harm the health of young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
The viruses that cause gastroenteritis are transmitted through contact with an infected person or contaminated food. Good hand hygiene and food safety are crucial for preventing infection. People with gastroenteritis are contagious, sometimes even after their symptoms have disappeared. For this reason it is important to remain vigilant, even if you no longer feel sick.
Because there is no specific treatment to fight the virus, the focus should be on preventing dehydration, hand-washing, rest, and simply waiting it out. To learn more about the steps to take if you have gastroenteritis, consult your health professional.