Intestinal virus is responsible for causing millions of cases of diarrhea yearly, specifically viral gastroenteritis. It is highly contagious and even though it is generally mild, can result to severe disease among the elderly, young children and those with weakened immune systems.
What are the types of intestinal virus?
Various viruses can cause gastroenteritis.
- Rotavirus – most common cause among children, usually less than 2 years old during the winter and spring season
- Norovirus – can cause epidemics of gastroenteritis during October and April
What are the characteristics?
The main signs of an intestinal virus include:
The stools become watery and have a foul smell. In some cases, the stool might be streaked with mucus or blood.
The nausea might arise abruptly and can lead to appetite loss and frequent episodes of vomiting. In most cases, the vomiting does not include yellowish bile which is the substance present in the intestines that facilitate digestion of food. If vomiting becomes severe, it might include bile or even streaks of blood.
Management of intestinal virus
The management of an intestinal virus is supportive care as the body eliminates the infection. Generally, the treatment includes hydration either orally or via intravenous fluids along with antiemetics to lessen the nausea and vomiting as well as correcting any electrolyte deficiencies.
In severe cases of dehydration due to gastroenteritis, it might require monitoring in an intensive care unit particularly if there are indications of kidney failure or shock.