Stomach flu symptoms

What are symptoms and signs of gastroenteritis? What is stomach flu and what causes stomach flu?

What is stomach flu?

Gastroenteritis also known as stomach flu is a disease which is caused by a highly contagious virus, called Norovirus, which can make you feel very ill. Each year approximately half a million people in the Netherlands are infected with this virus. The novirus is often transmitted through the hands and is thus spreading rapidly in places where many people go to or are present. Think of a school, office, public restroom and nursing homes. When you touch something that has the virus on it and then you bring your hand to your mouth, you can be sure that you are infected. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach, small intestine and colon and has nothing to do with the normal flu. Medical terms refers to the stomach flu as gastroenteritis.

Symptoms and signs gastroenteritis.

The symptoms of stomach flu are vomiting and diarrhea. Usually, the first symptoms are between 15 and 48 hours after contamination. Especially vomiting is very intense and can begin suddenly. In addition, symptoms like fever, headache, abdominal pains and cramps can occur. People who are carrying the regarding norovirus do not necessarily get the stomach flu. However, they can transmit the virus through physical contact to others, because the virus is very contagious. So it is very important to ensure good hygiene when someone around you has a stomach flu. Unfortunately no cure for the norovirus. It is important to ensure that you drink a sufficient amount of fluids. Especially small children and elderly people are at a greater risk of dehydration, causing necessary hospitalization. In most cases one feels a lot better after a few days and within a week the symptoms have already disappeared.If after 5 days you still feel miserable, it is wise to consult a physician. Gastroenteritis has nothing to do with the normal flu. That is caused by the influenza virus. So people who get the flu shot every year are not protected from the stomach flu.

Preventing stomach flu

You can prevent gastroenteritis somewhat by staying away from people who are infected as much as possible. Ensure a good hygiene within your household. Clean the toilet and sink regularly and wash dirty clothing and used bedding immediately.

Bacterial gastroenteritis

A bacterial gastroenteritis is fortunately not very common. A bacterial gastroenteritis is for example caused by the salmonella bacteria. Sources of infection is often eating spoiled foods or poorly prepared foods, drinking contaminated water and traveling in countries with poor sanitation.

Symptoms of bacterial gastroenteritis

The symptoms of gastroenteritis are caused by a bacteria which is generally more severe than the virus infection, with fever, diarrhea and sometimes also blood in the stool.

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