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Gastroenteritis – Better Health Channel

Gastroenteritis is an illness triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system. Typical symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. In many cases, the condition heals itself within a few days. 

The main complication of gastroenteritis is dehydration, but this can be prevented if the fluid lost in vomit and diarrhoea is replaced. A person suffering from severe gastroenteritis may need fluids administered intravenously (directly into the bloodstream via a vein – the setup is often referred to as a ‘drip’). Some of the causes of gastroenteritis include viruses, bacteria, bacterial toxins, parasites, particular chemicals and some drugs.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis

The symptoms of gastroenteritis can include: 

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Bloating.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Bloody stools (poo) – in some cases.
  • Pus in the stools – in some cases.
  • Generally feeling unwell – including lethargy and body aches.

Causes of gastroenteritis

There are many things that can cause gastroenteritis, including: 

  • Viruses – such as norovirus, calicivirus, rotavirus, astrovirus and adenovirus.
  • Bacteria – such as the Campylobacter bacterium.
  • Parasites – such as Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium.
  • Bacterial toxins – the bacteria themselves don’t cause illness, but their poisonous by-products can contaminate food. Some strains of staphylococcal bacteria produce toxins that can cause gastroenteritis.
  • Chemicals – lead poisoning, for example, can trigger gastroenteritis.
  • Medication – certain medication (such as antibiotics), can cause gastroenteritis in susceptible people.

Infectious gastroenteritis

Infectious gastroenteritis is caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. In each case, infection occurs when the agent is ingested, usually by eating or drinking. Some of the common types of infectious gastroenteritis include: 

  • Escherichia coli infection – this is a common problem for travellers to countries with poor sanitation. Infection is caused by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated raw fruits and vegetables
  • Campylobacter infection – the bacteria are found in animal faeces (poo) and uncooked meat, particularly poultry. Infection is caused by, for example, consuming contaminated food or water, eating undercooked meat (especially chicken), and not washing your hands after handling infected animals
  • Cryptosporidium infection – parasites are found in the bowels of humans and animals. Infection is caused by, for example, swimming in a contaminated pool and accidentally swallowing water, or through contact with infected animals. An infected person may spread the parasites to food or surfaces if they don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet
  • Giardiasis – parasite infection of the bowel. Infection is caused by, for example, drinking contaminated water, handling infected animals or changing the nappy of an infected baby and not washing your hands afterwards.
  • Salmonellosis – bacteria are found in animal faeces. Infection is caused by eating contaminated food or handling infected animals. An infected person may also spread the bacteria to other people or surfaces by not washing their hands properly
  • Shigellosis – bacteria are found in human faeces. An infected person may spread the bacteria to food or surfaces if they don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet
  • Viral gastroenteritis – infection is caused by person-to-person contact such as touching contaminated hands, faeces or vomit, or by drinking contaminated water or food.

Diagnosis of gastroenteritis

It is important to establish the cause, as different types of gastroenteritis respond to different treatments. Diagnostic methods may include: 

  • medical history
  • physical examination
  • blood tests
  • stool tests.

Treatment for gastroenteritis

Treatment depends on the cause, but may include: 

  • Plenty of fluids.
  • Oral rehydration drinks, available from your pharmacist.
  • Admission to hospital and intravenous fluid replacement, in severe cases.
  • Antibiotics, if bacteria are the cause.
  • Drugs to kill the parasites, if parasites are the cause.
  • Avoiding anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhoea drugs unless prescribed or recommended by your doctor, because these medications will keep the infection inside your body.

Prevention of gastroenteritis

Good old-fashioned handwashing with soap and water is still the best defence against spreading the bug.

Gastroenteritis is highly contagious, general suggestions on how to reduce the risk of infection include: 

  • Stay home while sick, until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped. If symptoms persist, visit your GP.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the toilet or changing nappies, after smoking, after using a handkerchief or tissue, or after handling animals.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing food or eating.
  • Use disposable paper towels to dry your hands rather than cloth towels, since the bacteria can survive for some time on objects.
  • Do not handle raw and cooked foods with the same implements (tongs, knives, cutting boards), unless they have been thoroughly washed between uses. 
  • Keep all kitchen surfaces and equipment clean.
  • Keep cold food cold (below 5 °C) and hot food hot (above 60 °C) to discourage the growth of bacteria.
  • Make sure foods are thoroughly cooked.
  • Clean kitchen tops, toys, toilet seats, nappy change tables and taps to ensure you don’t spread the infection to others at home.
  • Clean the toilet and bathroom regularly (especially the toilet seat, door handles and taps).
  • Clean baby change tables regularly.
  • When travelling overseas to countries where sanitation is suspect, only drink bottled water. Don’t forget to brush your teeth in bottled water too. Avoid food buffets, uncooked foods or peeled fruits and vegetables, and ice in drinks.

Note: Wash hands with soap and water as this is the best way to prevent infection. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers while effective against some viruses (such as coronavirus), are not effective against gastroenteritis.

Learn more about gastroenteritis in children and how to be a Soapy Hero!

Where to get help

When should you be concerned about your child’s stomach pain?

  • Kids experience stomach pain for many reasons—some more serious than others.
  • Anxiety and stress can cause belly pain. That’s something to keep in mind as families continue to cope with the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
  • Learn the most common causes of abdominal pain in kids and how your child’s doctor may be able to help.


“Mom, my stomach hurts!”

It’s a common refrain of childhood, one that parents are accustomed to hearing. Most of the time the pain is fleeting. A few hours of rest, perhaps a bowel movement, and all is well. But sometimes tummy trouble can mean real trouble. 

Could it be COVID?

COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind lately, so let’s address this possibility first. It’s true that children with COVID-19 may experience digestive symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and nausea—all of which can cause abdominal pain. But those are just some symptoms associated with COVID-19, and among the less common. Others include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your child shows any of the signs above along with their stomach pain, call your child’s doctor for advice on which symptoms to watch, and how to treat your child at home.  

Stress, anxiety and a “nervous stomach”

While risk of contracting COVID-19 is variable for everyone, it’s safe to say that almost no one is immune to pandemic-related stress and anxiety. And as you probably already know, stress and anxiety can lead to a host of physical ailments, including stomach aches, headaches and nausea. This is especially true for children who aren’t able to verbalize their feelings.

If your child has recurrent stomach aches that don’t seem connected to a medical problem, stress and anxiety may be the cause.

And there’s a lot to feel anxious about these days, from social distancing guidelines and loneliness to canceled vacation plans to disrupted school schedules. If your child has recurrent stomach aches that don’t seem connected to a medical problem, stress and anxiety may be the cause. One way you can help is by encouraging conversation about what’s on your child’s mind. 

  • Ask open-ended questions: “How do you feel like school is going so far?”
  • Listen and make sure you understand: “It sounds like you are frustrated about not being able to see your friends very often.
  • Validate your child’s experience: “I can understand why that’s frustrating—I miss my friends, too.” 
  • Reframe their worries positively: “This is a temporary thing. Some day we won’t have to worry about all these social distancing rules (hopefully).”
  • Provide encouragement: “I’m proud of how you are handling this. We will get through it together!”

Simply talking about their fears and frustrations can make a difference for children, so be sure to encourage conversations like this regularly. The Centers for Disease Control offers a helpful resource for parents and caregivers to help them recognize signs of stress and anxiety in their children and find ways to offer support.

What else could it be? 

Kids experience abdominal pain for many other reasons beyond COVID-19 and stress. 

  • Constipation. If your child’s pain is located around the belly button or the left lower side of the abdomen, ask when they last had a bowel movement. If it’s been a few days, or if they are having pain going to the bathroom, constipation could be the reason. Keeping a bowel movement log for a week will help you identify any trends so you can discuss it with your doctor.
  • An infection. Infections in the digestive tract can cause diarrhea (runny, watery bowel movements) that make kids feel sick to their stomach. An infection someplace else in the body (the throat or ears, for example) may cause belly pain too. 
  • Food intolerance or a food allergy. One example is lactose intolerance, which prevents the body from digesting a type of sugar found in dairy products. Belly pain is a common symptom of lactose intolerance. Try keeping a food diary to track what kinds of foods your child is eating and if their stomach pain is related.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBD). Symptoms include cramping pain in the lower abdomen, along with bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
  • Overdoing it. Eating too quickly or consuming too much food or soda at once can cause abdominal pain.

Abdominal pain can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but it is rarely the sign of a life-threatening problem. One notable exception is appendicitis. If your child experiences pain that starts near the belly button and moves to the lower right side of the belly, an inflamed appendix may be to blame. Other signs of this condition include fever, vomiting and pain that gets worse and worse. 

If you think your child might have appendicitis, make a same-day appointment with your child’s doctor or go to the emergency department. If left untreated, an inflamed appendix can burst.

When to call the doctor

Abdominal pain is a common ailment, but it’s also treatable. Talk with your child’s doctor if their stomach pain:

  • Comes on quickly and is severe
  • Lasts longer than a week
  • Limits their everyday activities
  • Worsens or changes over time
  • Is accompanied by any additional symptoms

You may be able to work together to identify the cause and make changes to help your child feel better.

Adults can get stomach aches too! Learn what Providence experts have to say about what causes abdominal pain in adults and when you should consult a doctor for care. 

Get relevant, up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) from Providence.

If you need care, don’t delay. Learn more about your options.

Find a doctor

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult with a doctor virtually, you have options. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can access a full range of healthcare services. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory or search for one in your area.






Related Resources

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9 Signs your stomach pain isn’t normal

Coronavirus: Add upset stomach in children to symptoms

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.

How to Tell If Diarrhea and Nausea Is Stress or the Coronavirus

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The novel coronavirus is most often characterized by a fever, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. But reports have suggested that digestive distress, including diarrhea and nausea, may also be early signs of COVID-19.

However, the stress of living in a pandemic can trigger gastrointestinal issues for other reasons, including stress.

Your gut is deeply intertwined with your central nervous system, so much so that stress can actually cause digestive issues, according to Dr. Laurie Keefer, PhD, GI psychologist and professor of medicine at Mount Sinai.

“We call the gut itself the second brain. There’s a very strong connection between the gut and brain and stress can disrupt that,” Keefer told Insider. 

Here’s how to tell the difference between gastrointestinal issues related to stress and those linked to the coronavirus.

Psychological symptoms often affect digestion 

Stress can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, frequent urgent need to use the bathroom, loss of appetite, and bloating. Anxiety can make you hyper-aware of those symptoms. 

In fact, your gut actually has a nervous system of its own, says Dr. Jill K. Deutsch, clinical fellow at Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine.

“There is an intimate connection between the central nervous system (the big brain in our head) and the enteric nervous system (the little brain in our gut),” Deutsch told Insider via email, referring to what’s often known as the gut-brain axis. “When stress, anxiety, or depression take hold within the central nervous system, this often causes miscommunication to the enteric nervous system, and manifests as GI distress.”

This happens for a couple of reasons.  When stressed, the body focuses its energy on fight-or-flight responses, and away from functions that aren’t immediately essential, like digestion. That state can lead to digestive issues including diarrhea, explained Keefer. 

Other responses to stress can exacerbate the problem, like eating foods you typically wouldn’t (including more comfort foods) or eating at irregular times.

Eating foods you typically wouldn’t (including more comfort foods) can exacerbate digestive issues.

Hollis Johnson

“The gut interacts with the environment almost as much as the skin so if you think of what we’re absorbing and taking in from stress and diet perspective, one of the first organs to be impacted is the gut,” Keefer said. 

Other factors that can mess with your digestion include loss of sleep and hormonal shifts, including those associated with menstruation.

People with underlying gastrointestinal issues might be particularly susceptible to these kinds of issues as a result of pandemic stress. 

If you typically have a nervous stomach, your symptoms are more likely to be stress 

The telltale sign that differentiates early or mild coronavirus infection from anxiety and stress is fever.

“If you’re a gut responder, someone whose stomach is influenced by stress, if you get get butterflies or feel nauseous when you’re nervous, what you’re experiencing right now is mostly likely to be stress, especially if there’s no fever,” Keefer said.  

However, if those symptoms are unusual for you, or escalate to include other symptoms like extreme fatigue, body aches, or difficulty breathing, it’s always best to err on the safe side and contact a medical professional if you’re uncertain. 

“Unfortunately, we just don’t know enough about the GI manifestations of COVID-19,” Deutsch said. “At this time there does not seem to be a reliable way to differentiate the GI symptoms related to COVID-19 versus from other causes.”

“Everyone should keep in mind that providers want to hear from you, no matter how minor you think your concern is,” she added.

Managing your stress can help keep digestive symptoms at bay

If you don’t have other symptoms and are just looking for ways to calm a troubled stomach, consider taking steps to manage your stress. 

“It’s just a warning sign. Your body is under wear and tear, it’s a warning sign that you need to rein in your stress and take care of yourself,” Keefer said. “The worst thing you can do is to become fixated on it.”

Instead of obsessively focusing on your digestive system, practice habits for general stress reduction, such as getting  exercise, trying to get plenty of sleep, and using deep breathing or

techniques to restore a sense of calm. 

“Thinking about it as a temporary thing, it can really take the edge off,” she said.  “There’s a benefit to accepting it, that what’s happening may be uncomfortable and unpleasant but it will pass.”

Read more:

Anxiety can have similar symptoms to the coronavirus. Here’s how to tell the difference.

Everything we know about masks and the coronavirus, from who should wear them to how to make one

Intermittent fasting may be a bad idea during the coronavirus pandemic, according to experts

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Viral gastroenteritis fact sheet – Fact sheets

What is viral gastroenteritis?

Viral gastroenteritis is a common infection of the stomach and intestines that results in vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be caused by a number of different viruses, such as rotavirus and norovirus (previously known as Norwalk-like virus). There are many other causes of gastroenteritis including bacteria, toxins, parasites, and some non-infectious diseases.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Other symptoms may include nausea, fever, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle aches. Dehydration can follow. Symptoms can take between one and three days to develop and usually last between one and two days, sometimes longer.

How is it spread?

Viral gastroenteritis is highly infectious and is spread by the vomit or faeces of an infected person through:

  • person-to-person contact, for example shaking hands with someone who has been sick and has the virus on their hands
  • contaminated objects
  • contaminated food or drink

Infection may also be spread through aerosolised particles when people vomit.

In most cases, spread occurs from a person who has symptoms. Some people can pass on the infection without symptoms, particularly in the first 48 hours after recovery.

Who is at risk?

Viral gastroenteritis can affect people of all ages.

How is it prevented?

After using the toilet, changing nappies, and before eating or preparing food, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 10 seconds and dry them with a clean towel.

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis of viral gastroenteritis is usually based on the person’s symptoms. Laboratory confirmation is important during outbreaks, and involves testing samples of stool (faeces).

How is it treated?

There is no specific treatment for viral gastroenteritis except rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Most people will recover without complications. However, viral gastroenteritis can be serious infants, people with suppressed immune systems and the elderly.

People with vomiting or diarrhoea should:

  • rest at home and not attend work. Infants and children attending childcare or school should be excluded from attending for 48 hours after the resolution of symptoms.
  • not prepare food for others or care for patients, children, or the elderly. These precautions should continue until 48 hours after diarrhoea or vomiting ceases. This includes people who prepare food in the home or working in the food industry.
  • wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for 10 seconds after using the toilet.
  • drink plenty of clear fluids, for example juice or soft drink diluted 1 part to 4 parts water, to prevent dehydration. Avoid undiluted fruit juice and soft drinks as they may increase dehydration and diarrhoea. Rehydration drinks that replace fluids and salts are available from chemists. Intravenous fluids may be needed in severe cases of dehydration.

People caring for those with gastroenteritis should wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water after any contact with the sick person. Cleaning soiled surfaces and clothing reduces further spread of the virus.

When cleaning up vomit or faeces:

  • wear gloves
  • wash hands with soap and running water for 10 seconds after gloves are removed and disposed
  • use disposable paper towels or rags to remove any solid material and seal them in a plastic bag before placing in the rubbish bin
  • clean any soiled object or surface with hot water and detergent and allow to dry thoroughly
  • some people also recommend wearing a mask.

What is the public health response?

Outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis increase in winter and are common within families and group settings including nursing homes, hospitals, childcare centres, and schools. Doctors and hospitals are required to notify their local public health unit whenever there are at least two cases of gastroenteritis that are linked.

Public health units are able to:

  • advise on how to identify an outbreak
  • advise on how to control the outbreak
  • help investigate outbreaks to determine the source and mode of transmission
  • advise on the exclusion of people with viral gastroenteritis from work, school or other public gatherings.

Further information

For further information call your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.​​

Fever, Cough & Body Aches With Mild COVID-19

Several types of OTC medicine can help to reduce the fever, headaches, and body aches that may come with COVID-19. That includes acetaminophen and ibuprofen, as well as other drugs related to ibuprofen, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen (Aleve and others) and aspirin.

“Acetaminophen and NSAIDs are equally effective at treating fever and mild aches,” says Dima Qato, Pharm.D., an associate professor of pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Some news reports, based on the March letter in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine and comments from France’s health minister, suggested that ibuprofen and other NSAIDs could worsen respiratory symptoms for people who were already sick with COVID-19. The letter noted that NSAIDs may increase levels of a substance called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which could, in theory, exacerbate symptoms.

But the WHO and the Food and Drug Administration currently say there’s no proof that this is true. “There’s not enough evidence right now to recommend against the use of NSAIDs,” Qato says.

According to the FDA website, “at this time, FDA is not aware of scientific evidence connecting the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, with worsening COVID-19 symptoms.” The agency did say it’s looking into the issue further and recommended that consumers read the Drug Facts label on all OTC drugs fully before use.

Opting for acetaminophen over an NSAID may be a reasonable first step for most people with COVID-19 for another reason, especially older adults. That’s because they may be more prone to some of the side effects associated with NSAIDs, says Hochman. These include an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers in the stomach.

NSAIDs may also raise blood pressure, and some nonaspirin NSAIDs have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke for this reason. The American Heart Association says that people with heart concerns should limit or avoid NSAIDs, especially if their blood pressure is uncontrolled.

Acetaminophen is safe for most people, although those with liver problems should not take it, says Qato. If you opt for acetaminophen, read the packaging for the recommended dose.

The FDA recommends that adults take no more than 4,000 mg per day of acetaminophen, though many physicians, including Hochman, counsel patients not to exceed 3,000 mg per day when possible to further reduce any potential risk of liver damage.

Shortages seem most common for Tylenol itself; generic versions may be more readily available.

If you’re not getting enough relief from acetaminophen alone, it’s fine for most people to alternate doses of acetaminophen with an NSAID, but check with your doctor before doing so, especially if you have a history of heart issues or ulcers.

To do this, Hochman recommends taking an NSAID at the halfway point between doses of acetaminophen. “That’s when the benefits of acetaminophen are most likely to wear off,” he says. Make sure to stick with the recommended dosage for each medication, following the instructions on the label.

And always check with your doctor if you’re unsure which medicine to use.

Keep up with nonmedication strategies, too. Hydration is key if you have a fever, notes Robert McLean, M.D., a primary care physician in New Haven, Conn., and president of the American College of Physicians. “People don’t realize how dehydrated they can get when they’re running a fever. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel even worse,” says McLean, who adds that prolonged dehydration also can damage the kidneys.

Make sure you’re drinking at least five to six large glasses (100 to 120 ounces) of water each day if you have a fever, McLean recommends.

Sometimes placing a cool cloth or wash towel on your forehead or the back of your neck can feel soothing and help ease fever. Taking a cool shower or sponge bath can help too, McLean says.

Think You Have the ‘Stomach Flu’?

You started your day like any other. You got up, got dressed, went to work and felt normal until it hit you in the middle of your team meeting: that telltale rumble and the mad dash to the bathroom. You’ve been sidelined by diarrhea and vomiting.

Your co-workers say you have the “stomach flu,” but that miserable combination of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea is not the flu. It’s gastroenteritis, an infection in your bowels that causes your stomach and intestines to become irritated or inflamed and can be caused by a virus or food poisoning.

How to Know It’s Gastroenteritis

Symptoms include three or more loose stools per day, stomach pain and nausea. Some people experience vomiting, and about half will have a fever. That’s a much different slate of symptoms from influenza, which often involves congestion, runny nose, cough, muscle aches, chills and fever.

Gastroenteritis can be viral or bacterial. “It is hard to tell which one you have because the symptoms are similar for both,” says Amy Shipley, MD, a family medicine doctor with UNC Physicians Network. “Unless you do stool studies and cultures, you can’t differentiate bacteria from a virus in most situations.”

Most people will have symptoms for one to three days, but symptoms can last up to two weeks. Salmonella, an infection caused by bacteria called salmonellosis, can last a week, and the rotavirus, a highly contagious viral infection, can last even longer.

When to See a Doctor

Dr. Shipley recommends patients see a doctor if symptoms persist for more than one week, or if they are elderly or pregnant, losing weight, or have severe abdominal pain, blood in their stool or other chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Treatment for viral and bacterial gastroenteritis is the same. Dr. Shipley recommends patients get plenty of rest, eat what they can and drink fluids to avoid dehydration.

“Eat what you can eat. You don’t necessarily have to eat a bland diet, because if all you can keep down is a milkshake, then drink a milkshake,” Dr. Shipley says. “Usually, though, most people can only tolerate a bland diet of foods like crackers.”

Dr. Shipley also recommends drinking a rehydration solution such as Pedialyte for kids and Hydralyte for adults. She says Gatorade is fine but tends to have a lot of sugar, which can make diarrhea worse.

“I tell my patients with diabetes, ‘If that’s all you can keep down, I’m OK with you drinking Gatorade for three days,’” Dr. Shipley says. “Drinking Gatorade is better than getting dehydrated because you can’t keep anything down.”

She recommends drinking broth because it is calorie-dense. She also says to avoid returning to work or school too early.

“You have to stay home and rest. Your body is trying to heal,” Dr. Shipley says. “You also don’t want to go back to work too soon because then you can spread it to everybody else.”

Preventing Gastroenteritis

To help prevent the stomach bug, wash your hands often, especially when you’re out in public. Dr. Shipley recommends wiping off grocery carts and washing surfaces such as countertops and computer keyboards at home if a family member gets sick. Also, clean your bathrooms with bleach.

“There are a few viruses, such as the norovirus, that need bleach,” she says. “Also watch the news and pay attention to what’s going on in your community, because if there’s an outbreak of the norovirus, don’t go to places that are self-serve because people are using those utensils and laying them right back down on the food, and that’s just asking to get sick.”

Need a doctor? Find one near you.

Anxious Stomach Aches and Headaches

All kids get an occasional headache or stomach ache — think not enough sleep or too much Halloween candy. But when children get them often, they may be signs of anxiety.

Stomach aches in the morning before school. Headaches when there’s a math test on the schedule. Butterflies before a birthday party. Throwing up before a soccer game. These physical symptoms may be the first evidence a parent has that a child is anxious. In fact, the child may not even know she is anxious.

“Especially with kids who may not be able to verbalize what they’re feeling anxious about, the way their anxiety manifests can be through physical symptoms,” explains Amanda Greenspan, LCSW, a clinical social worker at the Child Mind Institute.

Physical symptoms of anxiety

In fact anxiety is associated with a host of physical symptoms, including headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, along with a racing heart, shakiness or sweating — symptoms older people experience when they’re having a panic attack.

All these physical symptoms are related to the fight-or-flight response triggered when the brain detects danger. All of them have a purpose, notes Janine Domingues, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. When she talks to kids about anxious headaches or stomach aches, she explains the role of each. For instance, she says, “your stomach hurts because your digestive system is shutting down to send blood to other areas of your body. You don’t want to be digesting food at that moment because you’re trying to either flee danger or fight danger.”

Dr. Domingues assures children that these symptoms are not harmful — they’re just their emergency system responding to a false alarm. But it’s important to understand that kids aren’t necessarily inventing their symptoms, and the danger may feel very real to them. Don’t assume a child who spends a lot of time in the nurse’s office at school is doing it intentionally to get out of class. Her acute anxiety may be causing her pain.

“Headaches and stomach aches related to anxiety are still real feelings, and we want to take them seriously,” says Ms. Greenspan.

Check with your pediatrician

When a child develops a pattern of physical symptoms before school, or other potentially stressful moments, experts recommend that you visit your doctor to rule out medical concerns. But if the child gets a clean bill of health, the next step is to help the child make the connection between their worries and their physical symptoms.

“We help them understand in a very child-friendly way that sometimes our body can actually give us clues into what we’re feeling,” explains Ms. Greenspan.

Parents can start by validating their child’s experience and reframing it in a more helpful way. Instead of telling kids there’s nothing wrong with them, the goal is to tell them that what they’re feeling is worry.

“We give it a name,” adds Dr. Domingues. “We help them connect it to an emotion and label it.”

And after some practice kids are able to identify it, she adds.  ” ‘Yes, my stomach hurts and, oh yeah, I remember that’s because I’m feeling worried.’ And after learning some skills to help them calm down, I think they feel a sense of control. And that helps.”

What can parents do to help?

The first thing our experts suggest is something parents should not do, or at least try not to do: Let kids avoid things they are afraid of. It can be very tempting when children are complaining of a headache or stomach ache to let them stay home from school, or skip the party or the game they’re worried about. But avoidance actually reinforces the anxiety.

“If we’re allowing them to avoid it,” says Ms. Greenspan, “then they’re not able to learn that they can tolerate it.” The message needs to be: “I know it hurts, I know it’s uncomfortable, but I know you can do it.”

Another things parents should not do is ask children leading questions like “Are you worried about the math test?” Questions should be open ended, to avoid suggesting that you expect them to be anxious: “How are you feeling about the math test?”

 If the problems your child is having are disrupting his ability to go to school consistently — or concentrate at school, participate in activities, socialize with peers — he might have developed an anxiety disorder that should be treated by a mental health professional. The treatment favored by most clinicians for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps kids — as young as 5 years old — identify their anxiety and learn skills to reduce it.

The techniques clinicians teach children to calm down body and mind can also be deployed by parents, for children with less impairing symptoms.

Techniques for calming down

Here are some of the techniques clinicians teach anxious children, adapted from CBT and mindfulness training:

  • Deep breathing: Drawing in air by expanding the belly, sometimes called belly breathing, helps kids relax by slowing breathing, and reducing the heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones. It can also help relax tense stomach muscles.
  • Mindfulness exercises: Techniques such as focusing on what’s around them, what they see and hear, can help pull children away from the anxiety and ground them in the moment.
  • Coping statements: Children are taught to “talk back to their worries,” Ms. Greenspan explains. “They can say, ‘I’m feeling scared and I can handle it.’ Or something along the lines of, ‘I’m bigger than my anxiety.’”
  • Coping ahead: Children are taught that when you have to do something that makes you nervous, it helps to anticipate that you might have some discomfort, and plan what you can do to counteract it, knowing that if you can push through it, it will get easier.
  • Acceptance: This involves acknowledging the discomfort without fighting it. “Instead of trying to push the feeling away and get rid of it,” Dr. Domingues explains, “we ask you to hold onto it and tolerate it and get through it.”

The parents’ role is key

It’s only natural that parents don’t want to see their kids in distress or make them go to school when they’re worried that they’ll throw up. That puts parents in a difficult spot. “What we hear from parents is, ‘We just let him stay home one day — and one day led to three months,’ ” says Dr. Domingues. It’s a slippery slope — the child may ask to stay home more and more.

“So we work with parents a lot around how to find that balance between enabling anxiety and meeting a child where they are,” she adds. “And we also give them statements that they can use to be empathic and encouraging at the same time. For instance: ‘I know that this is really hard and you feel like you’re sick. But we also know that this is anxiety, and you can get through it.’ ”

Sometimes setting up a reward system can help by giving a lot of positive reinforcement for kids pushing through their anxiety.

Parents also face the challenge of tolerating their own anxiety about pushing a child who says she is ill or worried about vomiting. “If your kid is in distress and talking about not wanting to go to school or feeling sick or thinking they might throw up,” says Dr. Domingues, “then you’re, as a parent, also anxious that that might happen.”

Working with the school

The school plays an important role when kids develop physical symptoms of anxiety. Clinicians work with the school nurse — and sometimes the psychologist or school counselor — to set up a protocol for keeping the child’s absences from class as short as possible. For instance, the recommended amount of time to wait before encouraging the child to go back to class might be as short as five minutes.

“As much as we can, we urge them not to contact the parent or send the child home if they’re saying that they’re nauseous,” adds Dr. Domingues, “if we know that they are feeling this way because they’re anxious.” The shorter the break can be, the better it is, because the longer they’re out of the thing that’s making them feel anxious, she says, the harder it will be to get them back in.

This sort of symptoms can appear in a wide-range of children, but they’re most common in the grade-school years, notes Ms. Greenspan. “As kids get older and transition into adolescence and adulthood, they are more likely to manifest their anxiety symptoms in other ways.”

90,000 Abdominal pain and diarrhea | What to do with stomach pain and diarrhea

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Last update date: 08/26/2021

Average reading time: 14 minutes


Diarrhea of the most common pathological symptoms that occur both in isolation and in combination with other manifestations of various diseases 2 . About 1.7 billion cases of 2 are registered in the world every year.Most often they are associated with infections and poisoning 2 , in which diarrhea is usually accompanied by abdominal pain and manifestations of intoxication. However, these same symptoms occur in other diseases as well.

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Causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea

These symptoms are most often associated with diseases of the abdominal organs: stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and bile ducts, pancreas, internal genital organs and urinary bladder.The appearance of pain is provoked by spasms or stretching of the walls of hollow organs (intestines, stomach, gallbladder), stretching of the outer membrane of the liver and pancreas, impaired blood circulation and inflammation of the organs themselves, the membrane of the abdominal cavity covering them.

The physiological reasons for loose stools can be:

  • increased secretion of fluid into the intestinal cavity due to irritation, for example, bacterial toxins during foodborne toxicity,
  • accumulation in the small and large intestine of substances that attract water, as it happens, in in particular, with lactose intolerance;
  • inflammation of the intestine, accompanied by the release of various fluids into it, for example, mucus, pus in ulcerative colitis;
  • Increased intestinal peristalsis, for example, in irritable bowel syndrome,
  • Slowing down of motility, for example, in scleroderma.

Due to the common cause of diarrhea and abdominal pain, diarrhea and abdominal pain are often combined with each other. In particular, an increase in the volume of intestinal contents and an accumulation of gases that stretch the walls of the intestine lead to the appearance of pain. Inflammation, spasms, in turn, increase the symptoms of the disease.

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Some diseases in which diarrhea appears and stomach pains

Diarrhea is divided into acute and chronic. Acute lasts up to 2 weeks 1 .If liquid feces are observed for more than 4 weeks, they speak of a chronic form 2 . Both options can be for the same diseases.

1. Intestinal infections and toxicoinfections

Acute diarrhea most often has an infectious nature 1 , occurs as a result of the ingestion of pathogenic microorganisms or their toxins when drinking contaminated water and food, neglect of personal hygiene 1 .

The causative agents can be 1 :

  • bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, shigella, vibrios, campylobacter, yersinia;
  • Viruses, eg enteroviruses, rotaviruses or adenoviruses;
  • Various protozoa microorganisms: dysentery amoeba, lamblia, etc.

Loose stools can be from several to 30-40 times a day 1 , often accompanied by cramping pains in the abdominal cavity, fever, weakness. The appearance of nausea, vomiting may be associated with damage to the stomach and small intestine, that is, with the development of gastroenteritis 1 .

Nausea, weakness, abdominal pain and diarrhea, mucus and blood in the feces, false urge to defecate are more common with colitis, that is, inflammation of the colon 1 .

Intestinal infections, especially in children, the elderly, are dangerous due to dehydration 1 . Therefore, with frequent vomiting, the appearance of liquid feces, the stool should be contacted by an infectious disease specialist.

2. Traveler’s diarrhea

Most often, it is encountered by tourists visiting Central and West Africa, India. What to do: Diarrhea and abdominal pain can be associated with changes in diet, water quality, acclimatization, jet lag and other stresses.Some strains of Escherichia coli 1 are the causative agents of the infection. Stool disorder occurs upon arrival or in the first two days of stay in a new country, usually up to 3 times a day, accompanied by cramping pain in the abdominal cavity, lasts on average no more than a week 1 , you can cope with it yourself. If symptoms persist longer, a doctor’s consultation and examination is necessary.

3. Food allergy

Intolerance to cow’s milk and products from it, as well as eggs, nuts, fish, cereals, strawberries, chocolate, coffee, tomatoes, etc. is more common.d 2 . Therefore, if every time after consuming this or that product, loose stools appear and the stomach begins to ache, then perhaps we are talking about an allergy.

Stool disturbance in allergy is associated with the action of inflammatory mediators 2 . They cause swelling of the intestinal walls, increase the secretion of fluid into the intestinal cavity and cause its spasms.

The elimination of allergenic foods from the diet helps to normalize the condition. Their re-inclusion in the diet leads to liquefaction of feces.

4. Lactase deficiency and celiac disease

Lactase deficiency is a congenital or acquired deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down cow’s milk protein, or lactose. Its classic manifestations are pain, bloating and a loud rumbling in the abdominal cavity, which occurs after consuming dairy products, preceding the release of liquid feces with an unpleasant sour odor.

What to do in case of abdominal pain and diarrhea in case of lactase deficiency? Of course, exclude milk and products in the manufacture of which it is used.

Celiac disease – intolerance to proteins of cereals, gluten. Wheat and rye contain the most gluten, so abdominal discomfort often occurs after consuming flour products. The exclusion of cereals from the diet helps to normalize the condition.

5. Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder 2 . The reason for its development is still unclear. It is believed that emotional factors, hormonal changes, nutrition, and individual characteristics of intestinal peristalsis play a certain role.

IBS often occurs with alternating constipation with loose stools. Diarrhea occurs mainly in the morning after breakfast, never bothers at night 2 . It is accompanied by pulling pain in the lower half of the abdominal cavity, the release of a small amount of feces in the form of gruel. In some patients, the feces at the beginning of defecation are dense, lumpy, and then mushy or even watery. To restore the normal excretion of feces, it is necessary, first of all, to normalize the psychological state and hormonal background.

6. Chronic enteritis

Chronic enteritis, or long-term inflammation of the small intestine, can develop as a result of poor nutrition, autoimmune diseases, parasitic infections, prolonged uncontrolled intake of certain medications and other factors.

The disease is accompanied not only by stool disturbance, but also by changes in food digestion, absorption of nutrients. Diarrhea occurs 1-3 times a day 1.3 . There are many feces, they are watery, foamy.Pain is localized mainly in the area to the left above the navel, is dull, accompanied by rumbling and transfusion in the intestines. Long-term indigestion leads to a decrease in body weight, a deterioration in the condition of the skin, hair and nails, and the appearance of signs of hypovitaminosis. In severe cases, dehydration occurs, the work of all digestive organs and the endocrine system is disrupted. Treatment depends on the cause of the disease and includes taking antidiarrheal drugs.

7. Chronic colitis

Chronic colitis, or inflammation of the colon, also causes abdominal discomfort.Symptoms of an exacerbation of the disease are aching pains in the lateral sections and in the lower abdomen, diarrhea 3-10 times a day 1.3 . Unlike enteritis, the amount of feces is not increased, they look like gruel. False urge to defecate with the release of a small amount of feces or just mucus is typical.

If inflammation of the colon is accompanied by the formation of ulcers on its walls, as is the case with ulcerative colitis, intestinal spasms become severe, pus and blood appear in the feces, body temperature rises, weight loss is noted 1.2 .

8. Other diseases

Disorders of stool, discomfort in the abdominal cavity can be associated not only with intestinal problems.

Diarrhea, heaviness in the left side is sometimes a sign of chronic pancreatitis 1.3 . In this case, the cause of loose stools is insufficient digestion, which occurs due to a lack of pancreatic enzymes. Feces have a fetid, putrid odor, contain undigested food debris and fat.

Stomach pain and chronic diarrhea are sometimes signs of stomach cancer 3 .The disease is accompanied by a decrease in gastric secretion and acidity, which causes a rapid evacuation of food eaten into the small intestine, the development of intestinal dysbiosis with the inherent symptom of diarrhea. Bowel cancer can also lead to loose stools.

There are many reasons for the appearance of pain in the intestines and diarrhea, therefore, when they appear and, it is necessary to consult a doctor, undergo an examination. Only a doctor can establish the true cause of violations, prescribe adequate treatment.

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When you urgently need to see a doctor

Abdominal pain with diarrhea should always be alarming.Short-term stool disturbance occurs in many acute diseases requiring surgical care 3 , for example, at the first stage of intestinal obstruction, biliary colic or appendicitis 3 .

It is necessary to see a doctor urgently if:

  • severe stomach pain and diarrhea appears;
  • there was a fever, chills, the general condition continues to deteriorate;
  • Pain is accompanied by tension in the anterior abdominal wall;
  • Vomiting is frequent, it does not bring relief;
  • Feces contain scarlet blood or are black;
  • The loss of fluid with liquid feces by the stool cannot be compensated for independently due to incessant vomiting and diarrhea, the stomach hurts and it is not clear what to do;
  • signs of dehydration are observed: dry mucous membranes and plaque on the tongue, drooping eyes, pallor and grayish skin tone, confusion, lack of urination;
  • diarrhea, abdominal pain occurred in a small child, pregnant woman, elderly or weakened person.

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What to do if stomach hurts and diarrhea appears

In case of acute diarrhea and pain in the abdominal cavity, qualified medical assistance is needed, so you need to call a doctor at home.

What to do before the consultation 1.2 :

  • refuse to eat,
  • drink mineral water without gas,
  • maintain physical peace.

What should not be done if the stomach hurts and diarrhea appears:

  • take medications, including antibiotics, pain relievers, antispasmodics, antidiarrheals – they can “blur” the picture of the disease and complicate the diagnosis;
  • Apply a heating pad to the sore spot – heat can contribute to the development of infection and inflammation;

Treatment of diarrhea includes prevention and control of dehydration, diet therapy and stool normalization.

  1. Rehydration, or replenishment of the water-salt balance

To restore the water-electrolyte balance, it is not enough to use ordinary drinking water. Together with loose stools, the body loses a large amount of minerals. Therefore, for drinking it is better to use special solutions or mineral water of a high degree of mineralization without gas 1.2 .

  1. Diet

Meals should be fractional, but high in calories, so as not to overload the digestive system and compensate for the loss of nutrients.

It is necessary to exclude flour products from yeast dough, dairy products, fresh vegetables and fruits, eggs, legumes, coffee, carbonated drinks, kvass from the diet 1 . Not recommended for spicy, fatty, fried, spicy foods, canned food, smoked meats, marinades 1 .

  1. Drug therapy

All medications are prescribed by a doctor, based on the diagnosis and characteristics of the course of the disease. These can be antibiotics, enterosorbents, probiotics, prebiotics, eubiotics, antidiarrheals 1.2 .IMODIUM® Express can be recommended as the last component.

The active substance IMODIUM® Express – loperamide 4 – can act for 4-6 hours, is able to reduce intestinal motility, slow down the movement of its contents, promote the absorption of water and electrolytes 5 . This drug is used in the treatment of acute, chronic diarrhea of ​​various origins in adults and children over 6 years old 4 .

The information in this article is for reference only and does not replace professional medical advice.Consult a qualified professional for diagnosis and treatment.

“Imodium is contraindicated for use in children under 6 years of age.”


  1. D.I. Trukhan, D.S. Kiseleva, L.V. Tarasova. Diarrhea: Current Issues in Differential Diagnosis. Consilium Medicum. Gastroenterology. (App.) 2014; 01: – 51-54 p.
  2. Osadchuk M.A., Uryupin A.A. Diarrhea in therapeutic practice. Regular issues of “RMZh” №15 from 08.07.2014. – 1112 p.
  3. Matveykov G.P., Vechersky G.A., Goncharik I.I. Handbook for the differential diagnosis of internal diseases. M .: Belarus, 1990 .– 607 p.
  4. Instructions for the use of IMODIUM® Express.
  5. Register of medicines in Russia. Active ingredients. Loperamide. https://www.rlsnet.ru/mnn_index_id_637.htm

Diarrhea: symptoms, causes and treatment

Diarrhea: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

22.06.2018 12:06

The causes of diarrhea can vary from food poisoning or chronic bowel disease to serious intestinal infection.

Diarrhea can be accompanied by abdominal pain, fever and dehydration. Moreover, the latter is fraught with the development of severe complications.

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is defined as loose stools with a frequency of more than three times a day.
Diarrhea can be infectious or non-infectious. Non-infectious disease is more often associated with chronic bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome).Such conditions are accompanied by frequent stools, while it is mostly not liquid, but mushy. In most cases, there is no high fever or severe abdominal pain.

Poisoning or intestinal infection?

The first symptoms of food poisoning can appear almost immediately after eating: from 30 minutes to 4 hours. With an intestinal infection, this period lasts longer – from 12 hours to 3 days.

Infectious diarrhea is accompanied by high fever, abdominal pain of various localization: in the umbilical region or in the lower lateral parts of the abdomen.In case of poisoning, as a rule, vomiting occurs first, sometimes quite severe. The pain is localized in the upper abdomen – in the stomach and small intestine. Diarrhea joins later, it is not as pronounced as with intestinal infections. The temperature in food poisoning immediately rises to high values, but then decreases. Infectious diarrhea in most cases is accompanied by a temperature of 37 to 40 ° C.

Alarm symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety include diarrhea that lasts more than three days, high fever that lasts more than one day, and the presence of pathological impurities in the stool: blood and mucus.Severe abdominal pain, which makes it difficult for a person to move, is also a reason to see a doctor.

Dehydration may occur with diarrhea. Together with water, vital macro- and microelements are washed out of the body: ions of potassium, chlorine, sodium, etc. At risk are children under 2 years of age and elderly people over 65.

In addition, it is not worth treating diarrhea at home:
patients taking glucocorticosteroids (for example, with rheumatoid arthritis) and cytostatics;
people after chemotherapy and radiation therapy;
people with malignant neoplasms;
patients after organ transplant.

The classic misconception is that you shouldn’t eat if you have diarrhea. It is imperative to take food, but often in small portions (preferably 5-6 times a day). Food should be free of intestinal irritants and fiber. So fruits and vegetables, even boiled and steamed, are not recommended.

It is necessary to replenish the loss of water and microelements. This is best done with special salt preparations, which can be bought at the pharmacy. Their composition is balanced in the right proportion.You need to drink a little, but often. An adult should drink about 2-3 liters of extra fluids per day. It is better to forget about juices during illness. It is also undesirable to drink carbonated drinks, including mineral water.

If you are concerned about abdominal pain, you can take drugs from the group of antispasmodics. Painkillers in this situation will not bring relief. At the same time, if after taking spasmolytics the pain did not go away, or after some time returned, or began to intensify, it is necessary to consult a doctor.This could be a symptom of a more serious medical condition!

In addition, experts recommend taking drugs that have an adsorbent effect, two hours before any other drugs or two hours after.

No physical activity! You should also not take drugs that stop diarrhea.

It is possible to use preparations that are intestinal antiseptics – they do not remove diarrhea, but kill bacteria. However, it is better to consult a doctor before taking such medication.This rule also applies to intestinal antibiotics.
Children should be given drugs that contain probiotics and prebiotics. The former contain microorganisms useful for the intestines, the latter create conditions for their adequate growth.

As for folk remedies, such as a decoction of chamomile or oak bark, they are good for food poisoning. With intestinal infections, they are ineffective.

If there are no complications, diarrhea usually resolves in three days.

“Healthy people”

90,000 If a child has a stomach ache: what to do?

You will find out for what symptoms you need to call a doctor immediately.How to help a child. What not to do. In the end, we will talk about the prevention of abdominal pain.

All articles

Moiseeva Tatiana Nikolaevna

Head of the Department of Pediatrics, allergist-immunologist

You will find out for what symptoms you need to call a doctor immediately. How to help a child.What not to do. In the end, we will talk about the prevention of abdominal pain.

If you see these symptoms, call an ambulance.


  1. Stomach pain not in the navel area. The further from it, the more dangerous.
  2. The pain is severe and intense.
  3. Pain interferes with movement.
  4. Pale skin and cold sweats.
  5. The child has a rash.
  6. Vomiting and diarrhea appeared.
  7. Vomit yellow, green, or dark.
  8. Diarrhea and vomiting do not stop or recur for more than a day.
  9. There is blood in vomit, urine or feces, even if there is little of it.
  10. The temperature has risen.
  11. The child is lethargic.
  12. You feel with your fingers that your stomach is tense.
  13. Bulging in the abdomen and groin.
  14. Difficulty or pain when urinating.
  15. Injury to the abdomen.
  16. Boys – soreness, swelling and redness.

When these symptoms are absent

Ask your child when he last went to the toilet. If you haven’t been there for a long time, send it.

Find out about the well-being of those who ate with your child. Ask family, kindergarten teachers, and so on. If anyone else has a stomach ache, it’s the poor quality food.

Do not feed your baby on the first day. Let him drink a lot. Unsweetened compotes, non-acid fruit drinks, green teas and herbal teas are suitable.

After an exacerbation, put your child on a diet. Give him low-fat broth, crackers, oatmeal dairy-free porridge, baked apples, bananas, boiled rice without salt, biscuit biscuits. Fresh baked goods and creams, dairy products, fresh vegetables, fruits are prohibited.

A heating pad and an enema can only be prescribed by a doctor.

Monitor your child’s condition. If on the second day the pain near the navel does not go away, call a doctor.

Prevention of pain in the stomach and intestines

Follow 5 rules:

  1. Do not feed the baby.
  2. Give your child fruits and vegetables every day. They facilitate digestion.
  3. Let your child drink a lot, especially if he is sweating.
  4. The child must have a daily bowel movement. If it doesn’t work, show it to your pediatrician.
  5. If your child frequently complains of abdominal pain, see a doctor.

If a child has symptoms from our list at any time of the day, immediately call an ambulance in Chelyabinsk.

Our ambulance phone number: +7 (351) 220-00-03.

Enterovirus infection


Enterovirus infection is a multiple group of acute infectious diseases that can affect children and adults when infected with viruses of the Enterovirus genus. The insidiousness of the causative agents of enterovirus infection is that they can cause various forms of clinical manifestations, from mild malaise to serious damage to the central nervous system.With the development of enterovirus infection, the symptoms are characterized by a febrile state and a wide variety of other signs due to damage to the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, central nervous system and other organs.

How the infection spreads:

The main route of transmission of enterovirus infection is fecal-oral .
Contact and household , through household items, contaminated hands, if personal hygiene is not observed.
Airborne , if the pathogen multiplies in the respiratory tract, when coughing, sneezing.
Waterway – contamination can occur when vegetables and fruits are watered with contaminated wastewater, as well as when swimming in open contaminated water bodies; according to some reports, even water in coolers is a source of enterovirus infection.
If a pregnant woman is infected with an enterovirus infection, vertical route of transmission of the pathogen to a child is also possible.

Enterovirus infection is characterized by summer-autumn seasonality, a person has a very high natural susceptibility, and after a disease, type-specific immunity remains for several years.
The incubation period for any enterovirus infection is no more than 2-7 days.

All diseases that can cause enetroviruses according to the severity of the inflammatory process can be conditionally divided into 2 groups:
Severe diseases
These include acute paralysis, hepatitis, serous meningitis in children and adults, pericarditis, myocarditis, neonatal septic-like diseases, any chronic infections in HIV infected (HIV infection: symptoms, stages).
Less severe illnesses
Conjunctivitis, three-day fever without or with rash, herpangina, vesicular pharyngitis, pleurodynia, uveitis, gastroenteritis. Enterovirus D68 can occur with severe cough and bronchopulmonary obstruction.


Signs of ARVI . Children have perspiration, sore throat, sometimes runny nose, cough, fever. The temperature in the first stages is high, then it decreases and after 2-3 days it rises sharply again.This phenomenon is called enterovirus fever. Lasts, as a rule, 3 days, the child will feel unwell. During this period, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea are sometimes manifested, which can stop abruptly.

Rash . This manifestation of the disease is called “exanthema”. A rash appears on the second day after the temperature rises. As a rule, it is localized on the neck, legs, arms, face, back, chest. Outwardly, it looks like small red dots on the skin, identical with the manifestation of measles.Sometimes the rash is localized in the mouth, throat, looks like bubbles filled with fluid, which then turn into sores.
Muscle pain . In some cases, enterovirus infection affects muscle tissue. It is localized more often in the chest, abdomen, much less often in the back, arms, legs. Worsening of the condition manifests itself with movement, the pain is paroxysmal. The duration can be several minutes and up to half an hour. If you do not start timely therapy, muscle pain will become chronic.
Diarrhea, vomiting. Often manifested in children under 2 years of age when the body is affected by enterovirus infection. Sometimes it is accompanied by a symptom of bloating, pain. Diarrhea can last for several days. The main task of parents during this period is to restore fluid deficiency in time.
Additional symptoms of enterovirus infection:
drowsiness, lethargy;
abdominal pain;
loss of appetite;
swelling of the limbs;
general malaise;
conjunctivitis, eye redness, lacrimation;
enlarged lymph nodes.

In healthy adults with strong immunity, enterovirus infection cannot develop to severe pathological processes, and most often is generally asymptomatic, which cannot be said about young children, especially newborns and adults, weakened by other diseases such as HIV infection, cancer, tuberculosis …

To prevent the disease of enterovirus infection, preventive measures must be followed:

Drink guaranteed safe water and drinks (boiled water and drinks in factory packaging).
Eat cooked foods.
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with safe water and then rinse with boiling water.
Do not allow water to enter the mouth when swimming in ponds and pools.
Observe basic rules of personal hygiene.
You should avoid visiting mass events, places with a large number of people (public transport, cinemas, etc.).
We recommend wet cleaning of residential premises at least 2 times a day, airing the premises.
Under no circumstances should the child visit an organized children’s group (school, preschool institutions) with any manifestations of the disease.