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 2000, one of the major outbreak happened where 344 cases reported in the Gulf of Taranto, in Southern Italy. Noroviruses are the most important cause of foodborne gastroenteritis in many developed countries. Rotavirus, astrovirus, adenovirus, norovirus, enteropathogenic bacteria, and parasites also played a majour role in diseases as detected till 2003.
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: Research was conducted majorly by section of Clinical Medicine and Public Health, Dept. of Experimental Medicine, “Sapienza”, University of Rome to analyse the viral gastroenteritis in children.