Pathophysiology: Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection where inflammation of the stomach and intestines occur from a virus. It is also known as “stomach flu”. This infection may lead to watery diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and fever. It occurs by contact with a diseased person or by intake of contaminated food or water.Clinicians have categorized it into: Sporadic gastroenteritis, Epidemic gastroenteritis (food-borne or water-borne pathogens), and Acute gastroenteritis.
Disease Statistics: A viral etiology was suspected for gastroenterititis in San Carlos di Bariloche in 1996. Enteric Viruses accounted for 42.1% of childhood hospitalizations. Reovirus infection accounted for 0.10% of childhood gastroenterititis requiring hospitalizations from 1981 to 2001. Caliciviruses accounted for 39% of the outbreak associated diarrheal samples, mostly Noroviruses in 2004. In 2006, an outbreak of 800 cases was reported in Rioja Province. The major impact on viral diarrhea lies on rotaviral infection, accounting for 84.0% of the viral diarrheal.
Treatment: Viral gastroenteritis is diagnosed by physical exam such as stool sample to test for virus. There are no specific medical treatments and initially it involves lot of self-care measures. Antibiotics aren’t effective against viruses. The illness may be due to parasitic or bacterial infection. Primary goal is to prevent dehydration by providing enough water and fluids to the diseased body. Food is offered in small amounts. In case of small children, food is supplied intravenously.
Research : Researchers for viral gastroenteritis in Argentina includes Institute of Microbiology, Biochemistry Faculty, National University of Tucumán, Virology Laboratory, Central Hospital of Mendoza, Viral Gastroenteritis Laboratory, Department of Virology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, National Ministry of Health and Social Action, Institute of Virology. They are conducting basic and clinical research on the prevention, control, and treatment of a variety of viruses.