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Gastrointestinal Virus Information –

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Gastrointestinal Virus are a group of viruses that cause “stomach virus,” “stomach flu,” or viral gastroenteritis. The viruses are considered highly contagious, often spread person to operson with as few as 10 particles sufficient to infect an individual. The viruses may survive at temperatures as low as freezing and as high as 60 degrees centigrade. Cases of viral gastroenteritis due to norovirus can be seen throughout the year.

Many different viruses can cause this condition, including rotaviruses, noroviruses, adenoviruses, type 40 or 41, sapoviruses, and astroviruses. Interestingly, many parents do not know that the virus is passed through saliva or feces. Make sure that sanitary practices are covered thoroughly with children and that they don’t put their mouth on objects (such as shopping cart handles) or put objects in their mouth (such as pens from school). It’s amazing what a breeding ground of unsanitary germs exist at school, birthday parties or other gatherings where children use the bathroom and do not wash their hands.

Each of a handful of viruses capable of causing gastroenteritis has its own season of activity and ideal setting in which to multiply, according to the CDC. For example, in the United States, rotavirus and astrovirus infections occur during the cooler months of the year of October through April. Norovirus, the one active in the Roanoke region, thrives on the kind of close human contact that is all the more common during the holiday season. Large gatherings that revolve around food and good cheer symbolized by hugs, handshakes and festive kisses on the cheek give the infectious microbes being shed by a sick or recovering person a chance to latch on somebody else.

The extremely uncomfortable symptoms of the bug expose themselves to those who are infected almost overnight. Someone who has this virus in his or her system will go to bed one night and feel completely normal and will wake up the next morning feeling terribly ill. However, these uncomfortable symptoms can disappear relatively quickly. “Someone touches something that has the virus on it, and the person touches his or her mouth without washing his or her hands first,” Harer said. “Often viruses are spread by touching the face, the eyes, nose and mouth.”

It is very difficult to specifically diagnose Norwalk infection as opposed to a variety of other illnesses. Since the disease goes away without treatment, it is not very important to establish the diagnosis in most instances. In addition, there are no specific treatments. On occasion, a patient becomes severely dehydrated and requires intravenous fluids. When people are infected with one of the Norwalk group of viruses, they become immune to re-infection. However, the immunity is directed only against the particular virus causing the infection, and the immunity is rather short-lived.

Gastrointestinal leishmaniasis in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection and review 10 additional cases reported in the literature. All of the patients had CD4cell counts of <200/MM3, and AIDS had been previously diagnosed for 12 patients. Fever and splenomegaly were present in 46% of cases. Thirteen patients had digestive symptoms; these symptoms included diarrhea (6), dysphagia and/or odynophagia (6), abdominal pain (2), epigastric pain (2), gastrointestinal hemorrhage (1), and rectal discomfort (1). The regions of the digestive tract most frequently affected by Leishmahia organisms were the duodenal mucosa (90%) and the gastric mucosa (75%). Endoscopy showed normal-appearing mucosa in 45% of cases.

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