Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

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What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?

The primary symptom of gastroenteritis is diarrhea (non-bloody). Nausea, vomiting, and some abdominal cramping may accompany the diarrhea; mild fever (about 100 F or 37.77 C), chills, headache, and muscle aches along with feeling tired may occur in some individuals. Vomiting is occasional and the symptoms usually last about 2 to 5 days and begin to resolve. Severe gastroenteritis means the person has signs of dehydration; this is a medical emergency.

Children with gastroenteritis usually have diarrhea, but may have other symptoms, sometimes conflicting, of refusing to eat or drink or are very thirsty, either increased or low or no urine output. Weight loss, lethargy, and pinched skin that does not rapidly go back to normal are signs of dehydration, along with decreased fluid intake.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2015
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