Stomach Flu aka Gastroenteritis

24 Mar 2019 Medical

Commonly known as stomach flu, but doctors call it gastroenteritis. It’s usually caused by a virus, but can also be caused by bacteria and parasites.

Common signs of Gastroenteritis are diarrhea, nausea, and possibly vomiting. As well as headache, fever, chills, and abdominal pain. The one caused by a virus will usually last around 12 to 48 hours after you’re exposed to it, and it can last up to 3 days. If it’s caused by bacteria or parasites, it may last longer. It can be dangerous for people with other health conditions, as well as small babies and elderly people.

Viral Gastroenteritis – This is when a virus infects your cells and inflames your stomach lining as well as your intestine (the tube that connects your stomach to your anus). It’s very contagious — you can get it if you touch an infected person or something they’ve touched, or if you eat food they prepared. You also can get it if you eat shellfish from contaminated water or fruits and vegetables washed in it.

Bacterial Gastroenteritis – These microscopic living organisms are all around you — many are harmless, and some are even helpful. But others, like Salmonella and E. coli, can get into your food and cause stomach issues. They can get in at pretty much any point: as food grows or is harvested, processed, stored, shipped, or prepared. You also can get gastroenteritis if the bad bacteria gets on food from kitchen surfaces or utensils.

Food Safety – Bacteria multiply more quickly in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F, so use your fridge and freezer to keep cold food cold and your oven to keep hot food hot. Bacteria in refrigerated or frozen foods can become active again if they’re brought to room temperature, and some can make a lot of toxins in the food before you eat it. In those cases, you might feel sick within just a few hours.

*Disclaimer: Information provided here is meant as general knowledge and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a physician for an exact diagnosis and treatment.