gastroenteritis%20-%20viral
GASTROENTERITIS - VIRAL
Treatment Guideline Chart
Acute gastroenteritis is a diarrheal disease of rapid onset.
Viruses are one of the common causes of acute gastroenteritis.
Rotavirus, norovirus/"Norwalk-like" virus, sapovirus, enteric adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41, astrovirus, calicivirus and enterovirus are the established viral agents causing gastroenteritis.
Rotavirus is the most common pathogen causing diarrhea in patients 3-24 months old.
Patients <3 months old are protected by maternal rotavirus antibodies that are passed transplacentally and possibly by breastfeeding.
Transmission is through fecal-oral route.

Gastroenteritis%20-%20viral Signs and Symptoms

Introduction

  • Acute gastroenteritis is a diarrheal disease of rapid onset, with the diarrhea lasting ≤14 days duration
  • Viruses are one of the common causes of acute gastroenteritis

Etiology

  • Rotavirus, norovirus/"Norwalk-like" virus, sapovirus, enteric adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41, astrovirus, calicivirus and enterovirus are the established viral agents causing gastroenteritis
  • Rotavirus is the most common pathogen causing moderate to severe diarrhea in patients 3-24 months old
  • Patients <3 months old are protected by maternal rotavirus antibodies that are passed transplacentally and possibly by breastfeeding
  • Other viral agents causing acute gastroenteritis infrequently and presenting with extraintestinal manifestations include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus, influenza virus type B, coxsackievirus, echovirus and poliovirus

Epidemiology

  • Transmission is through fecal-oral route, through contaminated water, ingestion of inadequately cooked contaminated shellfish, close person-to-person contact and respiratory droplets

Signs and Symptoms

Clinical Features

  • Incubation period may vary from 12-72 hours depending on the causative agent 
  • Asymptomatic infection is common and asymptomatic excretion after illness may last for several weeks
  • Infection varies from mild watery diarrhea of limited duration to severe diarrhea with fever and vomiting that can result in dehydration
    • Disease severity depends on the patient’s immune system, presence of comorbidities, viral load and virulence of the viral agent 
  • Extraintestinal site involvement (respiratory tract, liver, kidney, lymph nodes and central nervous system) is common in immunocompromised patients
  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are the main complications
    • Other complications may include irritant diaper dermatitis, hypoglycemia, hyperuricemia, renal tubular damage, liver function impairment and seizures 

Typical Symptoms 

  • Watery bloodless diarrhea (in severe cases, 10-20 bowel movements daily)
  • Fever (low-grade)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Malaise
  • Symptoms may persist for 3-8 days
Editor's Recommendations
Special Reports