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Gastroenteritis: Viral

Viral gastroenteritis can be caused by various viruses including rotaviruses, adenoviruses, caliciviruses, astroviruses, Norwalk virus and a group of Noroviruses. 



Reservoir

Probably humans. The animal viruses do not produce disease in humans.


Incubation period
24 - 72 hours.


Signs and Symptoms
  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache Fever
  • Abdominal cramps

Symptoms may last from 1 - 10 days depending on which virus causes the illness.


Diagnosis
  • Clinical judgement
  • Stool specimens (for specific diagnosis)


Treatment
In most cases the illness is self-limiting. Hydration: Oral rehydration is generally enough but hospitalisation and intravenous fluids may be required if severe.


Control and Prevention
Frequent hand washing, prompt disinfection of contaminated surfaces with household chlorine bleach-bases cleaners, and prompt washing of soiled articles of clothing.
If food or water is thought to be contaminated, it should be avoided.