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.
- Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) facts
- What is gastroenteritis (stomach flu)?
- What causes gastroenteritis?
- Clostridum difficile as a cause of gastroenteritis
- What are gastroenteritis symptoms?
- Is gastroenteritis contagious?
- Is gastroenteritis a serious illness?
- How does food get contaminated with gastroenteritis viruses?
- Who is at risk of gastroenteritis?
- When should the doctor be called for gastroenteritis?
- How is gastroenteritis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for gastroenteritis?
- What are gastroenteritis complications?
- Can gastroenteritis be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of gastroenteritis?
- Patient Comments: Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) - Effective Treatments
- Patient Comments: Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) - Diagnosis
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) facts
- Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the stomach, intestines, or both.
- There are many causes of gastroenteritis; the most numerous cases are caused by viruses, followed by bacteria and other agents.
- The major gastroenteritis symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps; symptoms usually self-resolve in 2 to 5 days.
- The majority of gastroenteritis disease is very contagious, especially those caused by viruses and bacteria; a few causes of gastroenteritis are not contagious.
- Gastroenteritis usually is not a serious illness unless the affected person becomes dehydrated or an elderly person becomes infected with Norovirus and especially, Clostridium difficile.
- Most food, fluids, and other items become contaminated with causative agents of gastroenteritis from direct or indirect contact with a person that has the disease.
- Most individuals have some risk of encountering gastroenteritis; people that live in close contact with others (for example, live on a ship, in a dorm, or barracks) have a higher risk.
- People who become dehydrated should seek medical care; if the symptoms become worse or are accompanied with other symptoms and/or last longer than about 5 days, the person should seek medical care as they may have a more serious disease.
- Gastroenteritis is frequently presumptively diagnosed by the symptoms; infrequently, culture and identification, usually with immunological tests, of the causative agent is done during large outbreaks of the disease.
- Most people self-limit gastroenteritis in 2-5 days and require no treatment as long as they remain well hydrated. IV hydration may be needed by some people. Some clinicians treat the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea with medications, others do not.
- The major complication of gastroenteritis is dehydration; in addition, pseudomembranous colitis may occur with Clostridium difficile infection.
- Hand washing, good hygiene, washing produce, cooking foods adequately, and drinking only treated or pasteurized fluids can help prevent gastroenteritis.
- The prognosis for gastroenteritis is usually excellent, unless dehydration occurs or an elderly person's treatment is not started early in the infection.
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