What is gastroenteritis?

It is an infection that can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. It is more often caused by a viral infection of the stomach and intestines than bacteria. Both adults and children can get gastroenteritis.

One can get the infection if he/she touches the infected person’s vomitus without washing their hands after. One can also acquire the infection when he/she eats food or drink fluid with the virus in them.

What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?

  1. Diarrhoea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Fever
  4. Abdominal cramps
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Giddiness

When to see a doctor?

Most gastroenteritis will resolve within 24 to 48 hours. However, if you have the following symptoms, you are advised to seek medical attention:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Giddiness
  3. Persistent diarrhoea or vomiting lasting more then 48 hours
  4. Increased frequency (more than 3 times) of diarrhoea or vomiting in a day
  5. Blood in the stools or vomitus
  6. Severe abdominal pain

What can I do to feel better?

Patients with gastroenteritis need to drink as much fluids as possible to avoid dehydration. Older children and adults can drink non-carbonated sports drinks, whereas young children can be given an “oral rehydration solution”.

Patients can also take charcoal tablets (which can be purchased from the pharmacy) to aid in their symptoms. Patient should also avoid drinking juice, soda and avoid eating foods with a lot of fat, sugar or dairy, which can make symptoms worse.

How can I reduce the chance of another gastroenteritis?

Hand hygiene is the first step to reduce transmission of virus.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water after you use the bathroom or change your child’s diaper.
  2. Avoid sharing food and fluid from infected patients.
  3. Make sure your baby gets the rotavirus vaccine.

Feel free to drop by our clinic for more information.