May also be called: Stomach Flu
Gastroenteritis can be due to an infection with a virus, bacteria, or parasites. Also called the "stomach flu," it is contagious and spreads easily in childcare and schools. It often also causes fever.
Stool samples might be tested for bacteria or parasites if there is blood in the stool (poop). Antibiotics are usually not needed except for certain types of infections in young infants and in people with immune problems.
Gastroenteritis usually is not serious and generally lasts a few days. The greatest risk from gastroenteritis is dehydration, so it's most important to stay hydrated with plenty of fluids. Young kids are at the highest risk for dehydration.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.|
|Word! Gastroenteritis Feeling sick to your stomach?|
|Word! Nausea "Ooh, I'm sick to my stomach!" is another way of putting it.|
|"Stomach Flu" Having the "stomach flu" usually means spending a lot of time in the bathroom. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Food Poisoning The germs that get into food and cause food poisoning are tiny, but can have a powerful effect on the body. Find out what to do if you get food poisoning - and how to prevent it.|
|Why Should I Care About Germs? Germs are tiny organisms that can cause disease - and they're so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.|
|E. Coli Undercooked burgers and unwashed produce are among the foods that can harbor E. coli bacteria and lead to infection marked by severe diarrhea. Here's how to protect your family.|
|What Are Germs? Germs are the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease. With a little prevention, you can keep harmful germs out of your family's way.|
|Food Poisoning Did you ever eat something that made you feel ooky? It might have been food poisoning.|
|Gastrointestinal Infections and Diarrhea Nearly everybody gets diarrhea every once in a while, and it's usually caused by gastrointestinal infections. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Read this article to learn more.|
|Food Poisoning Sometimes, germs can get into food and cause food poisoning. Find out what to do if your child gets food poisoning - and how to prevent it.|
|Dehydration Your body is about two thirds water. When the water level dips below that level, you could be dehydrated. Read about what causes dehydration, what it does to your body, and how to prevent it.|
|Dehydration Sometimes kids lose fluids and salts through fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or long periods of exercise with excessive sweating. Here are some tips on preventing or treating dehydration.|
|What's the Big Sweat About Dehydration? Our bodies need water to work properly. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Diarrhea Most kids battle diarrhea from time to time, so it's important to know what to do to relieve and even prevent it.|
|Why Do I Need to Wash My Hands? Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Learn all about the best way to wash your hands in this article for kids.|
|What Are Germs? You know they can hurt you, but what are these invisible creatures? Find out in this article for kids.|
|E. Coli Undercooked burgers and unwashed produce are among the foods that can harbor E. coli bacteria and lead to infection and severe diarrhea. Here's how to protect yourself.|
|Vomiting Most vomiting is caused by gastroenteritis, and usually isn't serious. These home-care tips can help prevent dehydration.|
|Why Is Hand Washing So Important? Did you know that proper hand washing is the best way to keep from getting sick? Here's how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.|
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