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: The two main gastroenteritis viruses associated with food and waterborne diseases in Norway are caliciviruses and Hepatitis A virus. According to 2003 report the incidence of acute gastroenteritis was 1.2 per person-year. The incidence was higher for women than for men. Among children aged less than 15 years, drinking water from a private water supply was associated with illness. A survey for month of January and February in 2010, 39 cases were notified. Norovirus genogroup I (GGI) and genogroup II (GGII) was mainly found in the samples.
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 group of Norwegian School of Veterinary Science was particularly involved in the study of viral gastroenteritis in 2010. In earlier study, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo was primarily responsible for the study.