Gastroenteritis is an infection of the gut, and is commonly referred to as having a 'tummy bug'. The cause of infection can be bacterial (and may require antibiotics) but the majority of the cases in the UK are due to viral infections.
The symptoms of Gastroenteritis include
As Gastroenteritis is caused by infections, viruses, bacteria, and parasites can all cause this.
Viruses such as adenoviruses and the more severe noroviruses are the commonest in the UK. The spread of viral gastroenteritis is by the faecal - oral route, which means the virus is present on people's hands after they have been to the toilet and spreads onwards.
Bacterial gastroenteritis is usually spread from eating food or drinking water infected with bacteria, i.e. food poisoning.
Parasitic gastroenteritis is less common in the UK, and also spreads by eating foods or drinking water contaminated by parasites which unfortunately in countries with poor sanitation can be the case. Therefore it is important to inform your doctor if you have recently travelled abroad with gastroenteritis.
Prevention on Gastroenteritis includes
Treatment options include:
Symptoms should usually settle within 48-72hours.