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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is gastroenteritis?
Viral gastroenteritis (also called stomach flu or gastro) is a short-term condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the intestines and the stomach. It causes fever, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. It is highly infectious and is easily spread between family …
What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?
Symptoms of gastroenteritis include watery diarrhea (sometimes with pus and blood), low-grade fever, cramps and abdominal pain, vomiting, bloated stomach, nausea and sometimes headache. Most people feel very tired and have muscle aches and pains, …
What causes gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, some medications, chemical toxins and some toxic plants, but is usually caused by eating contaminated food or drinking water. Bacteria are often transferred from animal or human stools. When …
Who gets gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis affects anyone. As it is often passed by oral-fecal contact, young children are most at risk. People who live in close contact with others (such as in nursing homes, child care, cruise ships, schools and those in close-knit communities) become …
How is gastroenteritis diagnosed?
Gastroenteritis is usually diagnosed by taking a medical history, sending samples of your stool to a laboratory for analysis. In some cases a blood test will also be requested.
How is gastroenteritis treated?
Depending on the cause, most cases of gastroenteritis are not treated at all, with the main advice being to stay at home and rest until symptoms pass. Taking small sips of clear fluid, if tolerated, throughout the day is recommended. In cases of severe …
What can be done at home to treat gastroenteritis?
In most cases of gastroenteritis, it is best to simply stay at home and rest. Drink clear broth, rehydration liquids or water. Avoid solid foods until symptoms have ceased. Stay away from any products that may upset your stomach, such as …
Is gastroenteritis contagious?
Yes, gastroenteritis is highly contagious and if you are in close contact with an infected person, it is easily caught.
About this article
Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 23 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 229 (Click smiley face below left to rate)