Stomach Flu Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Although the term name looks similar, stomach flu is not related to influenza. Stomach flu that in medical terms is called Gastroenteritis (also called as infectious diarrhea, gastro, stomach bug, stomach virus and gastric flu), is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract involving the stomach and small intestine, resulting in a combination of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and spasms. Globally, the majority of stomach flu cases in children are caused by rotavirus.

In adults, norovirus and Campylobacter become more common causes. Other causes are less common that other bacteria (bacteria or toxins) and parasites. Transmission can occur due to the consumption of food cooked incorrectly or contaminated water or through direct contact with an infected person.

Symptoms of stomach flu
Common symptoms of stomach flu include diarrhea, pain, and cramping in the abdomen, and mild fever. Along with this may occur nausea and vomiting, muscle pain and headaches occasionally. In case if it contains blood, it may indicate a severe infection. Stomach flu incubation period tends to range from 4 hours to 1-2 days. However, it may depend on the type of virus. These symptoms tend to have a duration of one or two days. In some cases, it can last for 10 days.

Causes of stomach flu
Rotavirus and noroviruses are the pathogens causing stomach flu. The infection is highly contagious. Someone who has an infection can make contact through contaminated food or water. Even sharing objects such as utensils, towels or food from an infected person. The other stomach flu causes can be found on wikipedia.

Stomach flu treatment
The most important in the treatment of this disease is adequate hydration. For mild or moderate cases, this can be done through the provision of oral rehydration salts. For more severe cases, administration of intravenous fluids may be required. Gastroenteritis is the most common in children and communities in developing countries.

There is no specific treatment to cure the stomach flu. Because this is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help. Doctors usually recommend patients to follow a few steps home care. The first thing to do is to give a break to eat and drink for several hours. Drink plenty of fluids every day is very necessary.

Afterwards, eating can be resumed gradually. It is better to start with easily digested foods such as bananas. Foods that contain caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine should be avoided. It is also wise to stay away from dairy products and fatty foods. Getting plenty of rest is also important to control the symptoms of the stomach flu.

Gastroenteritis can be prevented by following proper hygiene pattern. Wash hands thoroughly, especially after going to the toilet, and use the personal items separate, are some important considerations to be addressed. In addition, avoid close contact with an infected person.
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Writen by: Mr Soed - Friday, January 23, 2015