Infectious gastroenteritis is a very common disease that affects adults and children. It usually manifests as diarrhea and / or nausea and vomiting.

It is caused by an infection of the digestive tract by a microbe: either a bacterium, a virus, a parasite or a fungus.

Most often, gastroenteritis is of viral origin. She is very contagious.

Most infectious gastroenteritis is caused by rotavirus, which is highly contagious. They are manifested by diarrhea that lasts a few days.

At the extreme ages of life, it can be complicated by sometimes severe dehydration requiring hospitalization. There is no treatment for this disease, but it is imperative to rehydrate the patients, from the beginning of the diarrhea. The use of oral rehydration sachets is effective and practical especially for small children. For bacterial or parasitic gastroenteritis, other specific treatments are needed.

Gastroenteritis exists worldwide and causes many deaths in poor countries.

Epidemics of gastro occur most often in winter. They can reach everyone but children and the elderly are more sensitive. In developing countries, they are all too often serious and can lead to deaths.

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Read also :

All about gastrointestinal diseases
The gastroenterologist: what are his functions?

Authors: Dr. MC Bonduelle, Dr. Nicolas Evrard and Dr. Ada Picard.

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