Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines. The main symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. It is usually not serious in healthy people, but it can sometimes lead to dehydration or cause severe symptoms
Some of the causes of gastroenteritis include viruses, bacteria, bacterial toxins, parasites, particular chemicals and some drugs.
Good old-fashioned handwashing with soap and water is still the best defence against spreading the bug.
Clean kitchen tops, toys, toilet seats, nappy change tables and taps to ensure you don’t spread the infection to others at home.
Treatment depends on the cause, but may include:
Plenty of fluids.
Oral rehydration drinks, available from your pharmacist.
Admission to hospital and intravenous fluid replacement, in severe cases.
Antibiotics, if bacteria are the cause.
Drugs to kill the parasites, if parasites are the cause.
Avoiding anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhoea drugs unless prescribed or recommended by your doctor, because these medications will keep the infection inside your body.