Viral and bacterial gastroenteritis is an infection of the digestive system brought about by contact with a pathogen. Various types of bacteria and viruses cause gastroenteritis, and each presents slightly different variations in the intensity of symptoms.
It’s possible to catch gastroenteritis by coming into contact with an infected person. They may be handling your food at a restaurant and pass on the bacteria or virus to your meal, with you remaining unsuspecting. Shaking hands with an infected person may also place you at risk of contracting the disease, and eating raw or undercooked meat, or unwashed fruit and vegetables is also another prime cause of gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis symptoms don’t appear immediately after infection, it takes a few days for the virus or bacteria to spread in the digestive system, and symptoms typically only manifest after two to three days. The disease usually lasts for 48 to 72-hours and requires no medical intervention.
Here are eight early warning signs of gastroenteritis, and what you can expect from contracting the disease.
1. A Friend or Family Member Gets Sick
The viruses and bacteria that lead to gastroenteritis transfer from the body fluids of infected individuals to food and surfaces where others come in contact with the microscopic pathogens. If you went out to eat at a restaurant a few days ago, and one of the family members starts to complain about a sore tummy, the chances are they’ve contracted some form of gastroenteritis infection.
The rest of the family may brush it off as a harmless stomach bug, or some other unrelated condition. As a result, the infected individual goes around the house, touching the TV remote and the fridge door – unknowingly spreading the virus and bacteria that cause gastroenteritis.
As a result, the rest of the family touches these surfaces as well, contracting the pathogens that cause the disease. Should you notice anyone in your family developing symptoms of stomach pain, its best to quarantine them in their bedroom until they recover.