Gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

It is a highly contagious illness that affects the digestive system, causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. While gastroenteritis can be caused by several viruses, bacteria, and parasites, it is most commonly caused by the norovirus.

At Dr Good Deed, we understand that dealing with gastroenteritis can be a challenging and unpleasant experience. That is why Dr Nivedita Pandey has put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand the condition better and provide you with tips to manage its symptoms effectively.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

The symptoms of gastroenteritis usually develop within 24 to 48 hours of exposure to the virus and can last for up to 10 days. The symptoms may vary from mild to severe and can include:

1. Nausea and vomiting: These are some of the most common symptoms of stomach flu. Nausea is the feeling of wanting to vomit, while vomiting is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.

2. Diarrhea: Diarrhea is another common symptom of stomach flu, and it can be mild to severe. It is the frequent passage of loose, watery stools.

3. Abdominal pain and cramps: Abdominal pain and cramps are common symptoms of stomach flu. They can be mild to severe and can occur in the lower or upper abdomen.

4. Fever: A low-grade fever is a common symptom of gastroenteritis. It is usually less than 100.4°F (38°C).

5. Dehydration: Dehydration is a severe complication of stomach flu. It occurs when the body loses too much fluid and electrolytes through vomiting and diarrhea.


Causes of Gastroenteritis

As mentioned earlier, it can be caused by several viruses, bacteria, and parasites. However, the most common cause of gastroenteritis is the norovirus. Norovirus is highly contagious and can be easily spread from person to person through contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Other viruses that can cause gastroenteritis include rotavirus, adenovirus, and astrovirus. Bacteria that can cause it include Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, and Shigella. Parasites that can cause it include Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium.

Treatment of Gastroenteritis

The treatment of gastroenteritis depends on the severity of the symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms of gastroenteritis will improve on their own within a few days, and no specific treatment is required.

However, if the symptoms are severe, your healthcare provider may recommend medication to manage them. For example, anti-nausea medication may be prescribed to help with nausea and vomiting, and anti-diarrheal medication may be prescribed to help with diarrhea.


Prevention of Gastroenteritis

Prevention is the best way to avoid getting gastroenteritis. You can reduce your risk of getting the illness by:

  1. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
  2. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  3. Avoiding sharing utensils, cups, and food with others.
  4. Ensuring that food is properly cooked and stored.
  5. Drinking bottled water or water that has been boiled.
  6. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that may be contaminated with the norovirus.



In conclusion, gastroenteritis is a highly contagious illness that can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms. While there is no specific treatment for the illness, the symptoms usually improve on their own.