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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 eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and have been sick for 5 days with diarrhea and nausea. Went to emergency on 5 day and they said it was gastrointestinal issue. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Gas See Less

Pike County Health Department's (PCHD) Communicable Disease and Environmental Health staff is investigating a cluster of cases of acute gastroenteritis that occurred in Pike County, IL on the weekend of June 10, 2022. Norovirus is suspected, and no known food source or cause has been identified.

In... See More 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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The CDC is investigating a Gastrointestinal Outbreak linked to the Carnival Splendor Cruise that sailed from Seattle to Alaska from May 24 to May 31, 2022. The causative agent is unknown at this time.

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of... See More total number of passengers onboard: 77 of 2,109 (3.65%)
Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 16 of 1,079 (1.48%)
Predominant symptoms: vomiting and diarrhea

The gastrointestinal illness cases reported are totals for the entire voyage and do not represent the number of active (symptomatic) gastrointestinal cases at any given port of call or at disembarkation.

In response to the outbreak, Carnival Cruise Line and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to the ship’s outbreak prevention and response plan.
- Sent daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to VSP.
- Consulted with VSP about sanitation cleaning procedures and reporting ill cases.

VSP monitored the situation and the ship’s outbreak response and sanitation procedures.

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.

Source:  | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting
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25th May 2022, Shortly after a meal at the hotel buffet I was struck down with terrible stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. The next day it continued and went to hospital where I was then hospitalised for 4 days with high fevers. 7 days on and I... See More still have diarrhoea and difficulties eating. I was at the hotel 5 days prior, only eating at their restaurants. The hospital told me I had gastroenteritis but failed to tell me what kind. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever, Cramps, Gas See Less

I had a footlong tuna sandwich and a day later I experienced fever and diarrhea and my wife as well. It was the last fast food restaurant we ate from before being diagnosed with Viral gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu.) | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Something else, Fever, Gas See Less

The Ministry of Health and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are investigating a gastroenteritis outbreak linked to Burger & Lobster located at Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore.

According to the news, the outbreak is affecting 27 patrons who consumed food prepared by the restaurant between May 7... See More and May 15. 4 people were hospitalized.

Operations at the restaurant have since been suspended from Monday (May 16) till further notice due to the outbreak.

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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My son became very ill after eating this happy meal. This is the second time.I thought the first time was allergies. But here we are a month later, I caved and got a happy meal that I had been avoiding JUST in case it wasn’t allergies. Boom.... See More Same symptoms. Son is vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. The pop is clay like then mustard seed. Smells horrid. This will probably last 48h-week. No more from here at this household! Since he has autism I had to take him to the ER, they said it’s gastroenteritis. My boy doesn’t go to daycare or is exposed to anyone else that has this. So safe to say something is going wrong in the food safety department. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Loss of Appetite, Gas See Less
Chicken nuggets happy meal, McDonald's, Northeast 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL, USA photo #1

It started  last week I ate it again and I got worse two days after , their apple Pecan Salad it has bleu cheese I went to the emergency room and I got diagnosed with Gastroenteritis in my small intestine due to something I ate. | Symptoms: Gas, Diarrhea, Nausea See Less

A couple hours after eating here I started getting stomach cramps which eventually progressed to body aches, headaches, and severe gastrointestinal issues. It's been 3 days of this so far. My doctor diagnosed it as viral gastroenteritis which is caused by contact with contaminated food such as... See More from someone who didn't wash their hands before cooking. | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Cramps, Headache, Body Ache, Gas See Less

I have had severe gastroenteritis, with pain and knotting in my stomach, burning and pain in my mid and lower abdomen, and mild diarrhea, for over 4 weeks, including a visit to the ER, from an unknown "virus" per the ER doctor (and a complete blood panel,... See More stomach CAT scan, and chest x-ray, and fluids for mild dehydration). The symptoms had ebbed and flowed in severity over this time casting doubt on the virus diagnosis. I had been recovering over the last couple of days eating normal foods for about a week. Then this evening I had a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal (an irregular treat) after a very light dinner at 7:30pm. At ~10:30pm I began experiencing sharp pains and knotting in my stomach (high in the abdomen just below my rib cage. It's probably been the Lucky Charms all along. | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Dehydration, Gas, Stomach Pain See Less

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