Is “stomach flu” real? What are the causes? To some extent, it is true. Gastroenteritis, which is sometimes known as “stomach flu,” is the proper diagnosis. The influenza virus, on the other hand, is completely unrelated to it and is not the cause of sickness.
Are you at risk?
Anyone can get gastroenteritis. But you’re more likely to get it if you’re living in a house/place where many people share living or eating areas, such as:
- Children in the nursery or in the camp.
- Students or employees who live in shared homes.
- Cruise ship passengers.
- People with weak immunity.
What is gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is usually not serious. Symptoms of gastroenteritis can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and stomach pain. But it can sometimes lead to dehydration or cause severe symptoms. Certain groups are at higher risk of developing these problems. These groups could be:
- Pregnant women
- People with a weakened immune system or other serious health conditions
- Children born prematurely or with other health conditions
If you are at higher risk and have symptoms of gastroenteritis, call your doctor right away.
What is the treatment for gastroenteritis?
Treatment varies depending on the cause of the injury, but may include:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Oral rehydration solution.
- Replacing lost fluids intravenously in severe cases.
- Antibiotics if bacteria are the cause or medicines to antiparasitic if parasites are the cause.
- Eat small amounts of food more often if you feel nauseous.
- Eat light and easy-to-digest foods such as plain biscuits, toast, bananas, rice and chicken.
- Avoid milk and other dairy products as well as undiluted fruit juice, soda or sports drinks because sugar may make diarrhea worse.
- Avoid taking anti-vomiting or anti-diarrheal medications unless prescribed by your doctor, as these medications will keep the infection in your body.
Are there tips for prevention?
Back to basics again and follow simple steps that will help you prevent. Bearing in mind that gastroenteritis is highly contagious. So, the following tips can help you prevent:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the toilet, changing diapers, after smoking, using a tissue, after handling animals, and before preparing or eating food.
- Stay home while you are infected until 48 hours after symptoms stop. If symptoms persist, visit your doctor.
- Use disposable paper towels to dry your hands instead of cloth towels.
- Do not deal with raw and cooked foods with the same utensils, except after washing those utensils well.
- Clean kitchen surfaces and equipment, toys, toilet seats, changing tables and faucets to ensure that the infection does not spread to others in the home.
- Cook foods well.
- Drinking bottled water when traveling abroad to countries where health services are suspected. Don’t forget to brush your teeth with bottled water, too.
- Avoid buffet food, uncooked foods or peeled fruits and vegetables and ice in drinks.
You may also visit our pharmacies to acquire the medical assistance you require, as well as medical advice and OTC treatment.