Gastroenteritis or infectious diarrhea is a medical condition from inflammation (“-itis”) of the gastrointestinal tract that involves both the stomach (“gastro”-) and the small intestine (“entero”-). It causes some combination of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominalpain and cramping. Dehydration may occur as a result. Gastroenteritis has been referred to as gastro, stomach bug, andstomach virus. Although unrelated to influenza, it has also been called stomach flu and gastric flu.
Globally, most cases in children are caused by rotavirus. In adults, norovirus and Campylobacter are more common. Less common causes include other bacteria (or their toxins) and parasites. Transmission may occur due to consumption of improperly prepared foods or contaminated water or via close contact with individuals who are infectious. Prevention includes drinking clean water, hand washing with soap, and breast feeding babies instead of using formula. This applies particularly where sanitation andhygiene are lacking. The rotavirus vaccine is recommended for all children.