How does Stomach virus causes Gastroenteritis ?

What is a Stomach virus

       Virus which infects the stomach and causes inflammation of (GI Tract)Stomach and Intestine is called Stomach virus (Rota virus, Noro virus etc.,) and the disease associated with it is called Stomach flu or Gastro-Enteritis. It is non-specific as it may affect various parts of GIT and causes Inflammation. Major cause of Gastro-enteritis lies in food poisoning or food Allergies. But food poisoning is different from stomach flu. Food poisoning may be due to contamination of food by bacteria, virus, protozoa etc.,and symptoms appear within 2-4 hours after ingestion of contaminated food.

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Epidemiology

     Rota virus affects 2 million persons every year, out of which 6 – 8 lakh people have been seriously affected leading to their deaths. Norovirus also causes 20% of gastroenteritis cases. Rotavirus gastroenteritis is  the most common infection in Infants and young children under 5 years of age.

Etiology and Risk factors

  • Acute gastroenteritis is caused by a viral pathogen through contaminated food and water.
  • Damage due to erosion of mucosal and submucosal lining of stomach causing hemorrhage and Inflammation of GI tract.
  • Consumption of Alcohol. 
  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori.
  • Chemical ingestion like drugs.
  • Smoking and Tobacco usage.
  • Systemic Infections.
  • Poor sanitation.
  • Animals may be the source of Infection.
  • Overcrowding increases the chance of infection.

Pathophysiology

  • Damage to brush borderd epithelium of villi of Intestine causing mal-absorption of Intestinal contents leading to Osmotic diarrhea.
  • Release of toxins that bind to enterocyte receptors specifically causing the release of chloride ions into the lumen of the Intestine leading to secretory diarrhea.
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Signs and Symptoms

  • Nausea,vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Low Fever with chills
  • Stomach pain or Abdominal cramps
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of Apetite
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Bloating of stomach
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches

Diagnosis

  • By physical examination by symptoms like Abdominal pain and Diarrhea.
  • Rapid stool test to detect Rotavirus or Norovirus.
  • Based on similar cases in your community, doctor can diagnose the gastroenteritis.

Treatment

  • Acetaminophen in moderate amounts to relieve from abdominal pain.
  • Antiemetics like Promethazine, metochlopramide, ondansetron were prescribed by the physician to stop Nausea and vomiting.
  • Anti-diarrheal drugs like loperamide, Bismuth subsalicylate were recommended in case of diarrhea.
  • Antibiotics may act on bacteria, but may not be the best choice against viral infections. Antiviral drugs may be preferred in few cases.

Preventive Measures

  • Exercise regularly to boost your Immune syste.
  • Wash your hands properly
  • Maintain hygeinic conditions and proper sanitation
  • Get traeated immediately
  • Stay home to avoid transmission

Natural remedies

  • Drink plenty of water everyday in small doses.
  • Take good amount of rest.
  • Stop eating solid foods for few hours.
  • Eat bland and easily digestible foods gradually.
  • Avoid caffeinated products for some time.
  • Avoid consuming Alcohol.
  • Cinnamon and Turmeric acts best against these kind of infections.
  • Ginger and Asafoetida act best during stomach infections.
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