As the summer begins to draw to a close Gastro season comes upon us. Gastroenteritis is an illness that affects your stomach and intestines. Most Gastro is cause by viruses but a smaller number is caused by bacteria. These normally will have more severe symptoms. The best way to prevent getting Gastro is to wash your hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom as well before eating and preparing food. Gastroenteritis is “crazy” infectious so be collectively scrupulous about hand washing when there is gastro in the house. Be careful not to rely on anti-bacterial gel as the gel does not kill viral Gastro and won’t be a good preventative.
Gastroenteritis can be caused by:
• viruses (such as rotavirus or norovirus infections)
• bacteria (including salmonella)
• toxins produced by bacteria
• parasites (such as giardia)
• chemicals (such as toxins from poisonous mushrooms).
Viral gastro is by far the most common and generally lasts about 3 days while Rotavirus can often last longer.
Dehydration is the main concern with Gastroenteritis as it can possibly be fatal without precautions. For this reason we recommend heaving babies and young infants check by one of our doctors or nurses.
Concentrated on keeping up fluids. Gastroenteritis oral rehydration mixtures are best; children often are more willing to have the ice block forms or the oral dehydration mixtures.
See the doctor about Gastroenteritis if:
• If your baby has gastro
• You are not able to keep fluids down
• Blood in vomit or stools.
• Symptoms persist for more than about 3 days.
• You are also having fevers.
• You are having abdominal pain localising in one part of the abdomen or increasing abdominal pain.
• Consider coming in earlier if you have recently been overseas or had a recent course of antibiotics.