Gastroenteritis, also called stomach flu, is an illness
characterized by the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
The disease can be caused by:
- Virus: rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus, calicivirus,
- Bacteria: mainly E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella and
- Parasites: Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, and
- Others non-infectious causes: medications, foods
intolerance or Crohn's disease can produce also inflammation of the
It can be spread by consumption of contaminated foods,
water, or by contact with a sick person.
Rotavirus is the main cause of
gastroenteritis in children and a full recovery is commonly expected within
three to eight days. Norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis among
The “traveler's diarrhea” is usually a type of bacterial
gastroenteritis. Symptoms usually start during the first 72 hours after the
Bloody stool can be associated with bacterial infections.