Treat gastroenteritis

Treat gastroenteritis
Treat gastroenteritis

Every year, there is no escaping it, there are gastro outbreaks all over Quebec.



Symptoms appear 24-48 hours after infection and usually last 12-60 hours. An infected person is contagious from the onset of symptoms until 48 hours after they disappear.

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • mild fever
  • sometimes vomiting and abdominal pain will be the only symptoms

In very young children, it is strongly recommended to seek medical attention at the first sign of illness due to the ease with which babies become dehydrated. In adults, the disease runs its course and goes away on its own in most cases.


Highly frequented environments such as daycares, schools, hospitals, residential and long-term care centers are the first to be affected by epidemics.

In the majority of cases, transmission is faecal-oral, i.e. by contact with hands contaminated with faecal particles or vomit. It is also necessary to pay attention to the droplets spread in the air during vomiting which can transmit some of the virusesresponsible for gastroenteritis.


Hygiene is key! At all times of course, but especially when we know that an epidemic is running, like now. It then becomes essential to monitor even more than usual the hygiene conditions of all family members, particularly the washing of the hands of sick people and those who take care of them.

It is also necessary to thoroughly clean and disinfect the surfaces (toilets, glasses, utensils), clothing and bedding of sick people, taking precautions not to become infected while doing so. Bleach is recommended, both in toilets and laundry.

Gastroenteritis can also be prevented by taking probiotic supplements. Probiotics are live bacteria that have a beneficial influence on the intestinal flora and the immune system, among other things. However, these bacteria must be present in very large quantities - a daily intake of 3 to 5 billion bacteria - to have a real effect. These supplements are available in pharmacies and natural product counters.


If despite your hygiene measures, the virus hits your family, there is not much you can do except let the disease run its course and rest. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the age of the patient (a baby or an elderly person for example) and their general state of he alth, it is sometimes necessary to consult a doctor. But if the symptoms are just diarrhea,nausea and vomiting, we muster up our courage and tell ourselves that in 48 hours, we will be better!

In the first 24 hours, one should start by stopping eating! Either way, you won't go hungry! You have to drink, however… It is easy to become completely dehydrated during a gastro. It is therefore necessary to drink a drink that helps the body to keep its mineral s alts.


You will find special solutions in pharmacies that are designed for these cases. But it is also possible to prepare an equally effective homemade potion. However, children who are breastfed should continue to be breastfed while taking rehydration solution.

  • Mix one liter of boiled and cooled water, six teaspoons of sugar, brown sugar or honey and one teaspoon of s alt.
  • Mix one cup of unsweetened orange juice with two cups of boiled and cooled water
  • Add 8 ml of s alt.

As for drinking a de-carbonated carbonated drink, forget it! Far from helping you, this drink is too sweet and increases diarrhea…

Signs of dehydration

  • dry mouth and skin
  • less frequent and darker urine than usual
  • muscle cramps
  • weight and appetite loss
  • weakness
  • hollow eyes

Signs of dehydration in toddlers

  • no urine in the diaper for more than three hours
  • urine darker than usual
  • crying without tears
  • fontanelles (soft parts of the skull) sunken in infants under 18 months

When to see a doctor

In children In adults
fever of 38.5°C (101.5°F) or higher fever of 38.5°C (101.5°F) or higher
lethargy or great irritability blood or pus in the stool
blood in stool inability to keep liquid down for more than 24 hours
vomiting for more than three hours vomiting that lasts more than two days
no urine for six hours(sign of severe dehydration) significant symptoms of dehydration


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