Gastroenteritis is defined as “The infection or irritation of the digestive tract, particularly the stomach or intestine.”

Caused by the ingestion of foreign bodies, including viral, bacterial and parasitic units.

Viral infection is the most common cause of gastroenteritis, bacteria can also be responsible for gastroenteritis, but can only be identified by stool analysis

Food prepared using contaminated water, is the main method of contraction: Seafood and fish are especially renowned for causing Gastroenteritis as they are in constant contact with contaminated water supplies.

One or more of the following symptoms are indicative of Gastroenteritis:

Diarrhoea
Fever
Abdominal Cramping / Pains
Headaches
Loss of Appetite
Tiredness/Lethargy

In extreme cases, there may also be: blood in urine and faeces, severe dehydration, shock and electrolyte imbalance in children

The following can be done to try and limit the effects of the Gastroenteritis infection:

• Ensure plenty of clean drinking water is consumed, preventing dehydration.
• Introduce a light diet based on complex carbohydrates (e.g. bread, rice). Not eating will only further weaken the patient without delimiting the effect of the infection.
DO NOT continue to breastfeed if suffering with Gastroenteritis. The infection may be passed onto the child.
• If available, proceed on a course of anti-biotics recommended by a medical worker.
• An Intravenous drip maybe necessary should treatment not have the desired effect.

Wash hands regularily

Keep raw meat and cooked meat separate when cooking and storing

Regularily clean toilets, to prevent spread from one household members to another

Do not prepare food for others while infected

Causes

Gastroenteritis and Children

Prevention

First Aid