Stomach Flu Top Causes

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Stomach flu is actually a slang term used for the medical condition we know as viral gastroenteritis. The term gastroenteritis basically comes from the terms gastro which means stomach, entero which refers to the intestines and –itis which refers to an inflammation or infection. Simply put, gastroenteritis or stomach flu is an infection or inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. But gastroenteritis in itself is a general term and may be caused by bacteria, foods, poisoning, etc. In stomach flu, the cause is specifically contained among viruses, thus it is caused by a type of or a group of viruses.

Wait—viruses? How do you get stomach flu, let alone acquire viruses in your stomach? Many viral infections that we know of usually present in the respiratory system like flu, cough and colds, etc, or in the skin like cold sores, chickenpox or shingles. However, it is also possible for us to develop a virus related condition via or gastrointestinal route and this is one example of it.

How Do You Get Stomach Flu?

Stomach flu are caused by different types of viruses but these are the most common types of causes:

ROTAVIRUS. Rotaviruses are common among infants to toddlers. This leads to vomiting and diarrhea among these kids. It may endanger the kids from diarrhea for as short as three days to one week. Abdominal pain will also accompany this symptom. While it is common among children, adults are not exempted from being affected with rotavirus—however the symptoms are usually milder among adults.

ASTROVIRUS. This type of virus now affects infants, children and adults equally. It can lead to classic signs and diarrhea and vomiting and very common during cold seasons.

NOROVIRUS. This is the epidemic type of gastroenteritis and actually breaks out during fall and ends during springtime. Apart from the usual diarrhea and vomiting, it also presents with fever, fatigue, stomach and muscle pains.

How Do You Get Stomach Flu From Other People?

Stomach flu is a contagious disease and you may acquire this by the following modes of spread:

-      using an infected persons utensils;

-      eating foods or drinking beverages used by infected individuals;

-      contact with individuals who did not wash their hands;

-      contact with stool or vomitus;

-      drinking or eating contaminated food or water.

The incidence and outbreak of stomach flu is much pronounced in nursery, day care centers, schools and restaurants where hygiene is not well maintained. Also, children may share their drinks and foods with others making the spread more exponential. As such, keeping your child at home and not letting him or her attend school is way more beneficial rather than allowing him or her to enter school and infect other kids.

With stomach flu, it is very important to maintain adequate intake of fluid to prevent dehydration. Drinkign fluids rich in electrolytes as well as fruit juices can also boost one’s energy and prevent fatigue and body weakness. Moreover, promoting proper hygiene like not sharing utensils, washing hand frequently and being cautious in preparing foods are very essential in the prevention of such disease.

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