What causes infectious diarrhoea?
The most common causes of gastroenteritis are:
- Food poisoning. If you get gastroenteritis in this country, you might put it down to food poisoning. You should always be careful that food is cooked properly, you don’t leave food lying around and you wash your hands before eating.
- Travellers’ diarrhoea. If you get gastroenteritis when abroad, it might be what’s called travellers’ diarrhoea. This can be caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. You can also get diarrhoea due to eating unfamiliar rich or spicy foods.
- Norovirus. Sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is a common viral cause of gastroenteritis in the UK and therefore a common cause of diarrhoea and vomiting.
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 fever, or if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours consult your doctor and do not take Imodium®.