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 2007 a study was published in which gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella enterica was discussed. It was the largest common source outbreak in Singapore. Salmonella serotype Enteritidis was isolated from cases, food samples and food handlers. Rotavirus was the commonest viral agent responsible for acute diarrhoea among Singapore children. About 60% of the patients admitted to hospital were younger than two years of age.
Research: The major research group involved in the study of viral gastroenteritis are Communicable Diseases Division, Ministry of Health, College of Medicine Building and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore. The funding was done by Ministry of Health, Singapore.
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.