What is Gastroenteritis: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Transmission

By | July 17, 2019
What is Gastroenteritis

What is Gastroenteritis?

What is Gastroenteritis? Gastroenteritis is an infection in the stomach and intestines caused by certain types of viruses and bacteria. This condition is also known by the term stomach flu. Gastroenteritis can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, or sometimes fever on the sufferer.

Gastroenteritis can spread through close contact with an infected person or through a food or drink that has been contaminated with viruses. This infection is easy to spread in a closed public facility, such as in a classroom, nursery, or a general treatment room.

Cooked food that is left too long at room temperature can also be the cause of the bacterial gastroenteritis. This infection is often characterized by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This condition is often referred to as food poisoning. Gastroenteritis rarely causes complications. However, this condition may be fatal or even lethal if it occurs in infants, the elderly,, and people who have problems with their immune system.

How common is gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is a common condition. This disease is more common in infants, young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. The best prevention is by hand washing. Discuss with your doctor for more information.

What are the signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis?

After knowing What is Gastroenteritis, then what are the signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis?

Some symptoms and signs of gastroenteritis are:

  • Abdominal pain or stomach cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Weight.
  • Fever.
  • Chills, or headaches.

Depending on the cause, such symptoms may occur 1-3 days after it is infected and lasts for 1-2 days, or can reach 10 days.

There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. When you have concerns about a certain symptom, consult it with your doctor.

Causes of Gastroenteritis.

What is Gastroenteritis - The causes

Gastroenteritis is a condition that can be caused by bacterial, viral or parasitic infections. Infections usually spread through contaminated food or water and make contact with infected people.

Here are the causes of gastroenteritis:

Viral gastroenteritis.

In healthy people, viral infections of the gastrointestinal tract are often the cause for mild episodes of gastroenteritis. This viral infection includes Norwalk viruses, rotavirus, adenoviruses and other agents.

Bacterial gastroenteritis.

Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter Jejuni, E. Coli and other types of bacteria can cause gastroenteritis. They can spread through contact with infected people, drink or consume infected foods. In some cases, the disease is caused by toxins produced by bacteria that grow on foods that have been prepared or stored incorrectly.


Some protozoa may result in gastroenteritis, the most common is Giardia lamblia, but the Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptosporidium species are also involved. As a group, the agency covers approximately 10% of cases in children. Giardia is more common in developing countries, but this etiology agent causes this type of disease by a certain amount almost all over the place.  It is more common in people who have travelled to places with high prevalence, children in child care, men who are se**xually related to men, and in circumstances after the disaster.


Transmission may occur through the consumption of contaminated water, or when a group of people use their personal objects together. In areas that have rainy and dry season, the quality of water usually deteriorates during the rainy season, and it relates to the time of the outbreak. In countries with several seasons, more infections occur in winter.

Feeding milk for infants using bottles that are not properly sterilized is the biggest cause on a global scale. The degree of transmission is also associated with poor hygiene, especially among children, in crowd housing,  and in groups that have experienced poor nutrition. After developing a tolerance to this disease, older people can become carriers of certain organisms without showing signs or symptoms, and they act as a natural reservoir of transmission. 

Some agents (like Shigella) only appear in primates, while others may appear on different types of animals (such as Giardia).

Read also: How To Prevent The Stomach Flu.

Thank you very much for reading What is Gastroenteritis: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Transmission, hopefully useful.

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