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Home - News - Key Facts about Viral Gastroenteritis

Key Facts about Viral Gastroenteritis

December 28, 2023

Viral gastroenteritis can be caused by various viruses, including rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus, astrovirus, sapovirus, and norwalk-like viruses. Different age groups tend to be affected by specific viruses:

  • Infants and young children are commonly affected by rotavirus and astrovirus.

  • Adenovirus and astrovirus are the main causes of gastroenteritis in young children.

  • Norovirus is more likely to cause gastroenteritis in older children and adults.


Viral gastroenteritis is highly contagious and can spread through:

  1. Sharing food, drinks, or utensils with infected individuals.

  2. Failure to wash hands after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

  3. Failure to wash hands after using the toilet.


To reduce the risk of winter viral gastroenteritis:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid close contact with individuals showing gastroenteritis symptoms.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

  • Practice proper food handling and preparation hygiene.

  • Stay hydrated and maintain good overall health to support the immune system.


Most cases of winter viral gastroenteritis resolve without specific treatment within a few days. However, the following measures can help manage symptoms and prevent complications:

  • Get enough rest and stay hydrated to prevent dehydration.

  • Consider over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms (consult a healthcare professional, especially for children).

  • ​Severe cases may require medical intervention to address dehydration and complications.