What can you do for a stomach virus

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If you feel awful, you need to know what can you do for a stomach virus

Gastroenteritis -- also know as the stomach flu -- is an irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines that can be caused by a variety of different factors.

This type of illness can be caused by bacteria or parasites in spoiled food and/or unclean water. Certain foods can cause gastroenteritis.

A multitude of different viruses can also cause the stomach flu, as we'll delve into in the coming paragraphs.

We've all been there, feeling under the weather, hoping for a simple and quick cure to our pain and suffering. So, what can you do for a stomach virus?

Below, we'll look at viral gastroenteritis, its effects, and the best ways in which to beat the illness.

Viral Gastroenteritis

Symptoms may include:

  •     Weight loss
  •     Nausea/vomiting
  •     Fever/chills
  •     Loss of appetite
  •     Clammy skin/sweating
  •     Headache/muscle ache/joint aches
  •     Watery diarrhea
  •     Abdominal cramps and pain

These symptoms will normally last anywhere from one to ten days in duration.


Complications may include dehydration, which can be intense in both babies and young children. Dehydration can be a life-threatening occurrence. A doctor should be called in certain instances, as well -- blood in stool, no urine for more than eight hours, sunken eyes, etc.

What Are the Root Causes?

In reality, influenza has nothing to do with gastroenteritis. We'll forget about the word "flu" for a moment and focus on the potential variety of viruses involved. Each of the below mentioned has their own peak season. Here are two of the most common:


It is most commonly found during the months of December and June, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Infants and young children are the main groups who may be affected and, once sickened, may then spread the infection orally to other children and even adults. Rotavirus symptoms may include:

  •     Watery diarrhea
  •     Loss of appetite
  •     Vomiting


Most outbreaks in the U.S. occur during November to April. Any age can be affected: nursing homes, schools, and daycare centers provide potential avenues to infection. Norovirus is common in crowded spaces and moves through contaminated food, infected individuals, and even tainted water.

The symptoms may include:

  •     Fever
  •     Body aches
  •     Nausea
  •     Diarrhea

Ways to Avoid These Illnesses Altogether

So, what can you do for a stomach virus? In order to help stave off the possibility of illness, take some simple precautionary measures. Be sure to wash your hands frequently. Look to avoid contaminated food and water products when in a new setting.

A rotavirus vaccine was approved for use back in 2006 and can (and should) be used in order to prevent severe illnesses in both infants and small children. Antibiotics don't work but over-the-counter oral rehydration solutions (OHS) -- like Pedialyte -- can be kept in homes with small children in order to help replenish both fluids and electrolytes. The most important aspect is to prevent dehydration.

Here are a few more ideas, as well:

  •     Avoid fruit juices
  •     Use sports drinks to replenish fluids lost
  •     Eat small meals
  •     Rest
  •     Drink extra fluids between meals

Always check with your doctor before handing out medications to children. NEVER give aspirin to children or teenagers with a viral illness; this may cause Reye's Syndrome, which can be a potentially life-threatening condition.

While many cases cannot be fully stymied, it's important to note that most people will make a full recovery from the illness in around two or three days. In addition, there shouldn't be any lasting side effects for the individual.


WebMD: Gastroenteritis.

Yahoo Health: Viral Gastroenteritis.

Above photo attributed to Bryan Gosline

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