Diagnosis Code Z20.0
Information for Patients
Also called: Stomach flu
Have you ever had the "stomach flu?" What you probably had was gastroenteritis - not a type of flu at all. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the intestines caused by a virus, bacteria or parasites. Viral gastroenteritis is the second most common illness in the U.S. The cause is often a norovirus infection. It spreads through contaminated food or water, and contact with an infected person. The best prevention is frequent hand washing.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, fever and chills. Most people recover with no treatment.
The most common problem with gastroenteritis is dehydration. This happens if you do not drink enough fluids to replace what you lose through vomiting and diarrhea. Dehydration is most common in babies, young children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Bacterial gastroenteritis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Bland diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- CMV - gastroenteritis/colitis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Stool Gram stain (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Viral gastroenteritis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- When you have nausea and vomiting (Medical Encyclopedia)
- When you or your child has diarrhea (Medical Encyclopedia)
Also called: Communicable diseases
Infectious diseases kill more people worldwide than any other single cause. Infectious diseases are caused by germs. Germs are tiny living things that are found everywhere - in air, soil and water. You can get infected by touching, eating, drinking or breathing something that contains a germ. Germs can also spread through animal and insect bites, kissing and sexual contact. Vaccines, proper hand washing and medicines can help prevent infections.
There are four main kinds of germs:
- Bacteria - one-celled germs that multiply quickly and may release chemicals which can make you sick
- Viruses - capsules that contain genetic material, and use your own cells to multiply
- Fungi - primitive plants, like mushrooms or mildew
- Protozoa - one-celled animals that use other living things for food and a place to live
NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases