What is gastroenteritis?
Viral or bacterial gastroenteritis is an infection and inflammation of the stomach and intestines – what you might call a stomach bug.
Many people around the world suffer from viral or bacterial gastroenteritis. It is an uncomfortable illness, but don’t worry as it’s very common and usually lasts only a few days.
Some vulnerable groups, including young children, the sick and the elderly, will need medical advice. You should seek medical advice if you experience fever or blood in your stool.
What causes it?
The most common causes are:
What are the symptoms?
While diarrhoea is the main symptom of gastroenteritis, you might also experience nausea, vomiting, headaches or mild fever. Symptoms usually pass in a few days.
How to avoid catching or spreading it
If your gastroenteritis is caused by norovirus, it will be highly contagious. So be careful not to spread it to other people.
How to treat diarrhoea
It’s important to stay hydrated with infectious diarrhoea. You can use oral rehydration therapy to help prevent dehydration. If you have severe diarrhoea, blood in your stools or a high temperature, or if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours consult your doctor.