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The stomach flu

Viral gastroenteritis is another name for thestomach flu. It is considered a serious condition since it may cause the death in children who are lessthan 5 years of age. Stomach flu is a gastrointestinal disorder marked bythe inflammation of the stomach, small and large intestines. In the majority of cases, when it is treated on timeit is not dangerous and usually does not recur.

Causes of the stomach flu

The stomach flu is a viral infection. Therefore, themain causes of this condition are several types of viruses, such as sapoviruses,rotaviruses, adenoviruses, astroviruses, type 40 or 41 and noroviruses. This gastrointestinal condition is highly contagiousand can be easily passed from one infected person to the others. A person can get itwhen he/she shares the food, water or eating utensils with the infectedperson. Furthermore, one can get the stomach flu when he/she consumes contaminatedfoods or beverages. Viral gastroenteritis can be developed when one eatsuncooked seafood, especially shellfish when it is contaminated by sewage.

Symptoms of the stomach flu

The symptoms of viral gastroenteritis usually appeara day or two after the virus enters the body and the symptoms may last up to tendays, although this disorder normally lasts three days. The people who suffer from this condition usuallyexperience abdominal pain, frequent watery diarrhea and vomiting. In many peoplewith the stomach flu, fever and headaches also appear. These symptoms are verymuch like the symptoms of the food poisoning. Dehydration and weight loss, as well as fatigue andtiredness are also some of the symptoms of the stomach flu.

Treatment of the stomach flu

When the symptoms are noticed, it is advisable toimmediately visit a doctor. To diagnose the stomach flu, the doctors considerthe symptoms, examine the patient and order a stool test. One of the main consequences of the stomach flu isdehydration. Thus the doctors prescribe oral rehydration solution in order to replacethe lost fluids, salt and minerals. The consummation of water and liquids is very important in the treatment of the stomach flu. However, in order toprevent the irritation of the stomach, these liquids should be taken in smallbut frequent sips.

In order to prevent the occurrence of thisgastrointestinal disorder, it is very important to wash the hands frequently, especiallybefore the meals, and to practice a good hygiene. Furthermore, the foods and watermust be hygienically prepared.

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