Also Known As: Gastroenteritis, food poisoning, stomach flu, 24 hour bug, 24 hour flu, stomach virus
Gastroenteritis (also known as gastric flu, stomach flu, gastro and stomach virus, although unrelated to influenza) is marked by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract involving both the stomach and small intestine resulting in diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
The majority of cases in children globally are caused by rotavirus, while in adults norovirus is more common, at least in the United States. Less common causes include bacteria or their toxins, and parasites. Transmission may occur due to improperly prepared foods, contaminated water or close contact with those who are infectious.
The foundation of management is adequate hydration. For mild or moderate cases this can typically be achieved via oral rehydration solution. For more severe cases intravenous fluids may be needed. Gastroenteritis primarily affects children and those in the developing world.
Irrespective of the cause, gastroenteritis is the inflammation of both the upper GI tract (stomach) and lower GI tract, resulting in an abrupt onset of vomiting and diarrhea.
Bacterial gastroenteritis is often caused by exotoxins which are excreted by cells as a bacterium grows. While the bactera colonize on food they secreate toxin. Even if the bacteria are killed by cooking or stomach, the toxin can still be ingested and cause abrupt illness. symptoms can start in 6- 24 post ingestion and usually only last for 1-2 days. Common bacteria that cause this type of illness are;