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Health Guide for Gastroenteritis – Remedies and Treatment Options for Children

Gastroenteritis, which is more commonly known as stomach flu or stomach bug, is a major cause of hospitalization every year. This disease is characterized by severe diarrhea and vomiting.

In the United States alone, there are around 400,000 cases of stomach bug every year and more than 70,000 hospitalizations of its patients. To prevent or diagnose and effectively cure the disease, one must be educated on its causes, the incubation period for a stomach virus and its treatment.


The common pathogens or disease-causing microscopic bodies that cause gastroenteritis are viruses and bacteria. They can be found in contaminated water and food. They may also be transferred from a patient to a healthy individual with no resistance or vaccination against the stomach virus.

When the pathogens reach the small intestines of the host, the incubation period for stomach virus begins. The virus will stay there to multiply and disrupt the patient’s digestive system.


The incubation period for stomach virus usually depends on the type of various that invaded the digestive tract. For example, the rotavirus will make you feel sick after within 48 hours of swallowing it. The symptoms of Adenovirus, another gastroenteritis-causing pathogen, take about 7 days to show up.

The age of the patient is also another determinant of the incubation period for a stomach virus. Generally, younger patients are vulnerable to more kinds of pathogens, particularly the rotavirus.

On the other hand, it will take stronger viruses like the norovirus to affect adults. The symptoms also take more days to manifest in adults.


The incubation period for stomach virus usually marks the time of communicability of the disease. During this time, the patients already have a low chance of transferring the disease to people with prolonged and repetitive contact with them.

However, communicability increases after the incubation period for a stomach virus. This happens when the patient is already exhibiting the symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

The people around must also be careful even after the symptoms wear off. The patient can still transfer the pathogens 1-2 days after they fully recover from the sickness.

incubation period for stomach virus

Stomach Virus Remedies – How to Deal with Gastroenteritis

Are you suffering from diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, and vomiting? Then, you must be suffering from Gastroenteritis, which is more commonly known as a stomach virus or gastric flu.

The disease is not associated in any way with influenza, but it is caused by viruses such as the rotavirus for children and the norovirus for adults. Most cases get better in a few days without treatment. However, certain stomach virus remedies may still be needed to ease the symptoms.

Gastric flu may also be caused by chemical toxins, bacteria, and protozoa. A person may acquire the disease through an intake of contaminated water, improperly prepared food and close contact with infectious people.


Most cases of gastroenteritis pass without leaving any damage even without treatment. Of course, it cannot be treated during the incubation period for a stomach virus, when the symptoms haven’t showed up yet.

The most important treatment is to provide oral rehydration for the patient through over-the-counter rehydrating solutions. If the patient cannot drink effectively due to vomiting, intravenous rehydration may be administered by a doctor.


Diarrhea and painful bowel movement are common symptoms of gastroenteritis. Antidiarrheal drugs such as loperamide are recommended as stomach virus remedies.

Loperamide reduces abdominal pain and relieves diarrhea by slowing down the movement of intestines. This allows the patient’s body to absorb more water in the gut.

However, there are important reminders when self-medicating with loperamide. Do not take excessively because the drug can cause constipation and dizziness. As for children, you must not give loperamide to those younger than 12 years old, unless it is prescribed by a doctor.

A pregnant woman must not take loperamide too. Certain antidiarrheals must not be given as stomach virus remedies to patients suffering from high fever. Loperamide may cause negative side effects on people with temperatures beyond 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.


Restoring body fluids and ions is an important part of stomach virus remedies. The patient loses much water because of loose bowel movement and vomiting.

Dehydration may lead to many serious complications when it is left untreated. The patient may be given oral rehydration solutions, which can be prepared by dissolving rehydration salts in water.

There are also rehydration meds that are formulated especially for children. However, there are times when the patient cannot rehydrate orally because of vomiting. In such cases, the doctor must insert and IV to directly rehydrate the patient through the bloodstream.


Antibiotics are not usually applied as stomach virus remedies. Nevertheless, they are used for rare cases with severe symptoms. Antibiotics are also prescribed if the patient is diagnosed with antibiotic-vulnerable bacteria such as Giardia, Shigella, and Salmonella typhi.

Macrolydes such as azithromycin is used to exterminate these bacteria and protozoa. Such antibiotics are also prescribed for children that suffer gastroenteritis with fever and bloody diarrhea.

Gastroenteritis 101 – Dealing with Stomach Virus in Children

Is your child suffering from diarrhea, vomiting and sporadic fevers? If you encounter these symptoms, you must bring your child to the doctor immediately because he/she may be suffering from a stomach virus.

Medically known as gastroenteritis, stomach virus in children is characterized by the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which includes the stomach and small intestines.

In the Unites States alone, the disease is responsible for 55,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations and death of 50-60 children younger than 5 years annually.

For adult patients, the condition normally gets better in 3-5 days without extensive medication. However, children are more vulnerable to the symptoms and side effects such as diarrhea and dehydration. Therefore, they require immediate medical attention.

Early Diagnosis

Medicating at home for stomach virus in children is not recommended. The disease is usually caused by the rotavirus on infants 3-5 months old and children younger than 5 years old.

The virus usually dies out and what really matters is mitigating the symptoms such as fever and diarrhea. However, there are several cases caused by bacteria and protozoa. These types of gastroenteritis may be accompanied with severe fever and bloody diarrhea.

The presence of bacteria can only be diagnosed through laboratory tests like stool examination. Such cases require antibiotics, which can only be prescribed by doctors.


In some cases of stomach virus in children, the patient may suffer from frequent and excessive vomiting. Besides aggravating dehydration, this may damage the upper digestive tract and throat of the child.

The doctor may prescribe anti-emetics, which are drugs that can relax the digestive muscles and stop vomiting. This drug must be used with medical supervision because it may cause side-effects like drowsiness and fatigue.

Rehydration Therapy

Dehydration is often underestimated as a side-effect of gastric flu. Children, especially infants, may rapidly lose essential ions and water in the body due to diarrhea. Fortunately, there are rehydration solutions for children that can be bought over-the-counter.

These solutions are used as substitute for ordinary water because their ions are readily absorbed by the body. For treating stomach virus in children below one year of age, oral rehydration therapy may also be performed. Intravenous fluids may be delayed to significantly increase water absorption when IV is once again supplied.

They may also be fed frequently with very small amounts of food to encourage rehydration in the gut. For example, you may feed them with servings as small as a sixth of an ounce at a time.

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