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: In Germany, norovirus gastroenteritis is a notifiable illness according to the Protection Against Infection Act of 2001. According to the survey from 2001 to 2009, n 92% of the outbreaks, norovirus genogroup GII was identified, ranging from 84% in season 2007/2008 to 97% in seasons 2002/2003 and 2005/2006.
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: The research for viral gastroenterititics in Germany was carried out by the staff of the local public health authorities who dedicated their time and effort tocollect data on cases and outbreaks since 2001 under the guidance of department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Gastrointestinal Infections, Zoonoses and Tropical Infections Unit.