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What is Viral Gastroenteritis?

About Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis refers to an infection of the gut and is known as food poisoning when caused by food contaminated with virus(e.g.norovirus), bacteria(e.g salmonella), and parasites(e.g Giardia). Gastroenteritis symptoms range in severity and can start within hours of eating contaminated food.

What is viral gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis affects the intestines and often manifests as watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and, in some cases, fever. As its name suggests, the infection is caused by a virus. And while the term “stomach flu” is commonly used to refer to viral gastroenteritis, this is incorrect as the infection does not affect the stomach but the intestines. In most cases, symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are short-lived and self-resolving. Thus, infected persons rarely need medical treatment before they recover. Although not common, prolonged infection may lead to severe symptoms like dehydration. 

Prevalence of viral gastroenteritis

Gastroenteric viral infections occur frequently, with norovirus being the most commonly identified organism, infecting an average of 20 million people annually in the United States. Gastroenteric infections caused by other viruses are not common. While the infection is generally widespread in a population, symptoms might be more severe in older people, young children and immunocompromised individuals. 


Severe viral gastroenteritis might lead to dehydration, which occurs due to loss of fluids and electrolytes when you vomit or experience diarrhea. Lost electrolytes and fluids need to be replaced to restore your body’s normal activities. Infected persons need to consult their physician when symptoms of dehydration are suspected. Left unattended, dehydration may be fatally dangerous, resulting in organ damage, coma, shock, or death.

Read more

Recent Gastroenteritis Reports

I ordered a steamed lobster on May 31, 2023. The lobster was very dark in color and the meat was overcooked, but I ate some of it. Later that evening I had severe stomach cramps and went to the ER, where they diagnosed me with gastroenteritis, probably caused by food poisoning. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cramps, Gas See Less

Seattle, WA, USA

1 month ago

Suspected food poisoning. Symptoms: Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting, Stomach Pain, Chills
Suspected source: not sure
Onset: Not sure
Duration: 4 to 12 hours
Sick: Me
i live in seattle but I just got back from a trip to japan, I have no idea what I ate that could... See More have been the cause because in the past 3 days I have had: indian food, food from whole foods hot bar, eggs, homemade bread, nachos from a food truck, and a variety of convenience store foods in Japan (7/11, Lawson) as well as food from street vendors - doctors suspects viral gastroenteritis not acute gastroenteritis | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting, Stomach Pain, Chills See Less

Kettering Elementary School, located in East Long Beach, has postponed large group events after 14 students experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis the last week of March, according to Long Beach Unified School District spokesperson Chris Eftychiou.

Kettering Elementary School currently has about 300 students and 30 staff. The... See More school has not determined the source of the illness. It is unclear if anyone has been infected with norovirus at Kettering Elementary School yet.

Gastroenteritis, commonly caused by norovirus, is a gastrointestinal illness that affects nearly 685 million people annually and is highly contagious. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and low-grade fever.

In case you experience vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, report it now. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

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I bought some Cheetos and my son and I developed gastroenteritis because of that product. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Something else, Gas See Less

I ordered a pb milkshake with Reeses cup and an order of hush puppies around 9:30pm on 12/28/22, drank/ate it immediately and felt unusual after I got home 30 mins later. It’s 4:17am the next day and I just vomited clear liquid with pb shake. I only... See More ate hush puppies and the shake, both from here that evening. My stomach still feels uneasy.
Update 12/30/22 I experienced continuous vomiting and diarrhea on 12/29/22. That evening the diagnosis I received from the doctor is Gastroenteritis…possible from food… | Symptoms: Nausea, Vomiting
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Get massive gastrointestinal problems after eating smoked salmon from the market | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea See Less

We had a party of 14 for the 4pm show on Friday, November 25th. While the show was entertaining, 5 of the 14 people in attendance came down with gastroenteritis today, November 27th. This show was the last time that my group was together and I'm reporting... See More this issue in case there were others affected at this venue. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Gas See Less

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are investigating 2 incidents of gastroenteritis affecting a total of 284 persons who reported gastroenteritis symptoms after consuming food prepared by Rasel Catering Singapore Pte Ltd located at 253 Pandan Loop Singapore 128432 between 8 and... See More 16 November 2022. None were hospitalized.

Due to the suspected ongoing transmission, SFA has suspended the food business operations of Rasel Catering Singapore Pte Ltd with effect from 18 November 2022 until further notice. The licensee is required to clean and sanitize the premises, including equipment and utensils, and dispose of all ready-to-eat food and perishable food items.

In case you are experiencing gastroenteritis symptoms such as vomiting, watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, muscle aches, and headache, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

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Within hours consuming their dairy products my daughter and myself experience gastrointestinal upset. We are not lactose intolerant nor do we have issues with any other brand. It happens every time after we consume ice cream from here | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Gas See Less

my daughter had fries & a burger at around 10:30 11pm then she wokeup at 6am so sick headache, dizzy, stomach pain, throwing up & having diarrhea . went to the ER was diagnosed with viral gastroenteritis … she’s really weak , slurr speech keep throwing up & her head hurts constantly | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Headache, Stomach Pain, Gas, Dizziness See Less

Last 30 days