Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of stomach and intestines, typically resulting from bacterial toxins or viral infection and causing vomiting and diarrhoea. Also known as the stomach flu, viral Gastroenteritis affects people throughout the world.
This highly contagious illness spreads through close contact with people who are infected, or through contaminated food or water. Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Conservative estimates put diarrhea in the top 5 causes of deaths worldwide.
- AGE is transmitted through the faeco oral route through contaminated food and water. The vector is a bacteria: H. pylori
- Direct person to person transmission
- Airborne spread through aerosolized vomit
- Contact with contaminated environmental surfaces or fomites (objects).
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Black stool
- Nausea, vomiting or both
- Occasional muscle aches or headache
- Low-grade fever
- Watery diarrhea
- Careful attention to hand hygiene before and after patient/resident care.
- Wash hands after using the toilet, and before preparing or eating food.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces used for food preparation.
- Avoid eating raw food.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Don’t share kitchen utensils, plates, or towels if someone in your household is sick.
- Antacids such as Pepto-Bismol, TUMS, or Milk of Magnesia can be used to neutralize stomach acid.
- H2 antagonists such as Famotidine (Pepcid) and Cimetidine (Tagamet) and Proton pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole (Prilosec) and Esomeprazole (Nexium) reduce the production of stomach acid.
- Drink extra fluids with and between meals.
- Avoid fruit juices as these do not replace minerals and can actually increase diarrhea.