ABC Medical Center > Viral gastroenteritis

What is Viral gastroenteritis?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


The so-called stomach flu is an intestine viral infection resulting from having contact with someone infected or by eating contaminated food.

Although viral gastroenteritis does not represent significant risks in healthy individuals, it can have fatal consequences in older people, babies, and immunosuppressed individuals.

As it is a viral condition, there is no specific treatment for viral gastroenteritis, hence the importance of preventing it through actions such as frequent hand hygiene and avoiding consuming contaminated water or food.

The following stand out among the most common viruses associated with gastroenteritis:

  • Norovirus.
  • Rotavirus.

Signs and symptoms Viral gastroenteritis

  • Severe diarrhea without blood.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Cramped stomach.
  • Headache.
  • Sore muscles.
  • Low-grade fever.

Viral gastroenteritis complications:

This disorder has a risk of complications if dehydration occurs, especially in high-risk groups, so it is essential to ingest plenty of fluids and electrolytes to replace those lost through constant bowel movements and vomiting.
Dehydration can cause serious problems such as:

  • Organic damage.
  • Shock.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

Diagnosis and treatment Viral gastroenteritis

Once the doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical evaluation and request a stool test to identify the type of virus that has caused the infection.

Also, the doctor may ask you for a stool culture if they consider that there may be another probable source for your symptoms, to rule out the existence of bacteria or parasites, and confirm the diagnosis.

There is no effective treatment for viral gastroenteritis, so therapy focuses on self-care actions to try to control symptoms while the infection subsides, including:

  • Abundant fluid and electrolyte intake.
  • Rest.
  • Antidiarrheal drugs.
  • Avoid greasy or spicy foods.
  • Refrain from ingesting alcohol and caffeine.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Comas GA, Reyes GU, Reyes HKL, et al. Gastroenteritis en niños por otros agentes virales diferentes al rotavirus. Enf Infec Microbiol. 2020;40(3):100-107.
  • Cervantes-Izaguirre AP, Rendón-Macías ME, Martina-Luna M, et al. Gastroenteritis aguda por norovirus en pacientes con atención hospitalaria: estudio transversal. Bol Med Hosp Infant Mex. 2019;76(4):176-181.
  • Martínez–Reyes MS, Bada-Pérez MP, Sánchez-Tiburcio T, et al. Distribución por grupos de edad y género de la incidencia de gastroenteritis por rotavirus en niños en el estado de Veracruz. Bioquimia. 2006;31(Suppl: A):96.
  • Castell REP, Reyes HD, Reyes GU, et al. Gastroenteritis por rotavirus en el recién nacido, reporte de 12 casos adquiridos en la comunidad. Enf Infec Microbiol. 2012;32(3):108-113.

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