gastroenteritis%20-%20viral
GASTROENTERITIS - VIRAL
Acute gastroenteritis is a diarrheal disease of rapid onset.
Viruses are one of the common causes of gastroenteritis.
Rotavirus, enteric adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41, astrovirus and calicivirus (eg "Norwalk-like" virus) 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.
Incubation period may vary from 1-10 days depending on the causative agent.

Introduction

  • Acute gastroenteritis is a diarrheal disease of rapid onset
  • Viruses are one of the common causes of gastroenteritis

Etiology

  • Rotavirus, enteric adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41, astrovirus and calicivirus (eg “Norwalk-like” virus) are the established viral agents causing gastroenteritis
  • Rotavirus is the most common pathogen causing diarrhea in patients 3-24 months
  • Patients <3 months are protected by maternal rotavirus antibodies that are passed transplacentally and possibly by breastfeeding

Pathophysiology

  • Transmission is through fecal-oral route, through contaminated water, ingestion of inadequately cooked contaminated shellfish, close person-to-person contact and respiratory droplets
  • Incubation period may vary from 1-10 days depending on the causative agent

Signs and Symptoms

Clinical Features
  • Asymptomatic infection is common and asymptomatic excretion after illness may last for several weeks
  • Infection vary from mild watery diarrhea of limited duration to severe diarrhea with fever and vomiting that can result in dehydration
  • 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
Typical Symptoms
  • Watery, bloodless diarrhea (in severe cases, 10-20 bowel movements daily)
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Symptoms may persist for 3-8 days
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