Gastroenteritis is the medical term for the stomachflu. It is a very serious condition that can occur in everyone, although itusually affects the children. The stomach flu is the inflammation of thestomach, small and large intestine. In the majority of cases, the inflammationis caused by some viruses, although there are also certain types of bacteriathat can cause it.
When gastroenteritis occurs in children who areunder 5 years of age, it can be very serious and life-threatening, since untilnow many children died from this gastrointestinal disorder. The stomach flu is a highly contagious infection andcan be easily passed from person to person.
Symptoms of the stomach flu in children
The first symptoms of the stomach flu appear betweenthe first and tenth day after the virus or bacteria entered the body. The timethat passes from the virus or bacteria exposure to the appearance of the firstsymptoms is called stomach flu incubation period. The most common symptoms of the stomach flu are diarrhea,nausea and vomiting. Therefore, in the majority of cases, the children becomedehydrated. Furthermore, the children who suffer from gastroenteritismay also experience severe abdominal pain and abdominal cramps, as well as fever,chills, headache and pain in the muscles. Consequently, the children with thisgastrointestinal disorder become weak and cannot eat.
Causes of stomach flu in children
Gastroenteritis is caused by certain types ofbacteria and viruses. They multiple in the intestines and damage the cells ofthe intestines causing fluid leakage in cells. As a consequence, frequentwatery diarrhea occurs. In the majority of cases, rotavirus is responsiblefor the occurrence of the stomach flu in children. The symptoms usually appear a day or two after the virus entered the body. The main symptoms arewatery diarrhea and vomiting, which usually last for three to eight days.
Another virus that usually affects the infants under2 years of age is called adenovirus. The first symptoms usually appear a weekafter the exposure to this virus. In winter season, astrovirus is the virus thatusually causes the stomach flu. The main symptoms that appear are diarrhea andvomiting, which occur three days after the exposure to this virus. Calicivirus and norovirus are two viruses that arealso responsible for the occurrence of the gastroenteritis in children. They usuallycause diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, muscle pain and headache. These two virusescan cause the infection in adults, too.