Typically a self-limited condition lasting less <7 days. It is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide and is responsible for 80% of the gastroenteritis cases in the US.
Frequent symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be accompanied by fever, abdominal pain, and anorexia.
Person-to-person transmission is responsible for infection in most sporadic cases. Foodborne and waterborne epidemic outbreaks have the potential to involve large numbers of people.
Mostly caused by norovirus. Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in young children. It also causes symptomatic infection in older people and in immunocompromised adults.
Diagnosis can be confirmed by PCR, antigen-detecting enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), immunofluorescence assays (IFAs), microscopy, serology, and viral culture, but routine use of these techniques is not necessary.
Optimal management is with oral rehydration therapy for mild and moderate cases and IV fluids for severe cases, plus adequate nutrition. Routine use of antibiotics, antidiarrheal agents, and antiemetics is not recommended and may cause harm.
Prevention through good hygiene is the key in controlling viral gastroenteritis. In addition, rotavirus vaccines have recently been approved for infants.
- abdominal pain
- volume depletion
1st Tests To Order
- clinical diagnosis
Other Tests to Consider
- basic metabolic profile (BMP)
- renal function
- stool rapid antigen testing
- stool reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) or multiple-x PCR
- stool viral culture
- stool electron microscopy
- stool for culture, ova, and parasites
mild to moderate volume depletion
- able to tolerate oral fluids
- oral rehydration therapy (ORT)
- antidiarrheal agent
- unable to tolerate oral fluids
- IV hydration
severe volume depletion
- IV hydration