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The stomach flu

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

Causes of the stomach flu

The stomach flu is a viral infection. Therefore, the main 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 contagious and can be easily passed from one infected person to the others. A person can get it when he/she shares the food, water or eating utensils with the infected person. Furthermore, one can get the stomach flu when he/she consumes contaminated foods or beverages. Viral gastroenteritis can be developed when one eats uncooked seafood, especially shellfish when it is contaminated by sewage.

Symptoms of the stomach flu

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

Treatment of the stomach flu

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

In order to prevent the occurrence of this gastrointestinal disorder, it is very important to wash the hands frequently, especially before the meals, and to practice a good hygiene. Furthermore, the foods and water must be hygienically prepared.

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