Gastroenteritis

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Joe Gatto
Gastroenteritis
7/3/2018
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Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or
parasites. Many organisms live in and on our bodies. They're normally harmless or even helpful,
but under certain conditions, some organisms may cause disease. Some infectious diseases can
be passed from person to person. Some are transmitted by bites from insects or animals. And
others are acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or being exposed to organisms in the
environment. Signs and symptoms vary depending on the organism causing the infection, but
often include fever and fatigue. Mild infections may respond to rest and home remedies, while
some life-threatening infections may require hospitalization. Many infectious diseases, such as
measles and chickenpox, can be prevented by vaccines. Frequent and thorough hand-washing
also helps protect you from most infectious diseases.
Among the different types of infectious diseases is gastroenteritis. Also known as the
stomach flu, gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal
cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever. There are several types of medications that
can help stop the current flu that you have, such as antibiotics and antivirals. Certain types of
bacteria are especially susceptible to classes of antibiotics. Treatment can be targeted more
precisely if your doctor knows what type of bacteria you're fighting. (mayoclinic.org) Antibiotics
are usually reserved for bacterial infections because these types of drugs have no effect on
illnesses caused by viruses. But sometimes it's difficult to tell which type of germ is at work. For
example, some types of pneumonia are caused by viruses while others are caused by bacteria. It
is best to get a blood test so that the doctor can figure what virus is affecting you inside.
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Most of the time, a medical history and physical exam is the basis for diagnosis,
especially if there’s evidence that the virus is spreading through your community. Your doctor
may also order a stool sample to test for the type of virus or to find out if your illness is caused
by a parasitic or bacterial infection. (healthline.com) The focus of treatment is to prevent
dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. In severe cases, hospitalization and intravenous fluids
are necessary. Over-the-counter oral rehydration solutions (OHS), such as Pedialyte, can be
helpful in mild cases. OHS are made to be easy on your stomach, and they contain a balanced
mixture of water and salts to replenish essential fluids and electrolytes. These solutions are