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Gastroenteritis <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​About</h2><p>Gastroenteritis is a viral infection of the intestine, characterised by:</p><ul><li>the passing of three or more watery stools, </li><li>abdominal cramps, </li><li>nausea or vomiting, and </li><li>sometimes fever.</li></ul><p> It is contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water, or through unknowingly eating faeces. This can happen when an infected person does not wash their hands properly after using the toilet, and then prepares food.<br><br> Symptoms may appear one to three days after infection, and range from mild to severe. Usually symptoms only last just a day or two, but occasionally they may persist as long as 10 days.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Treatment</h2><p>If you are healthy, you can recover from the infection without complications. However, for infants, older adults and those with compromised immune systems, viral gastroenteritis can be deadly.<br><br> Most of the time all you need to do is replace the fluids you have lost in loose stools. Infected adults, children and babies should drink a rehydration solution. </p><p>If your baby has diarrhoea, you can feed them small amounts of the solution every few minutes.​</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>rehydration solution</h4><p>If you have diarrhoea, replace lost fluids with an <a href="" target="_blank">oral rehydration/sugar and salt solution</a>.<br><br> 1. Boil one litre of water and allow it to cool.<br> 2. Add eight level teaspoons of sugar and a half a teaspoon of salt and stir well.</p></div></div></span> <p> <strong>Adults</strong>: drink the solution regularly throughout the diarrhoea infection period.<br><br><strong>Children over the age of two years</strong>: 125 ml – 250 ml of solution after every watery stool.<br><br><strong>Children under the age of two years</strong>: 60 ml – 125 ml of solution after each watery stool (feed one teaspoon every 2 minutes).<br><br> You can also eat rice, bananas, dry toast or salty crackers to help rehydrate your body.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Prevention</h2><p>You can prevent diarrhoea and gastroenteritis by practicing good personal hygiene, eating good food that has been prepared in a clean and hygienic environment, and ensuring that you <a href="" target="_blank">drink and cook with safe water</a>. </p><p>If you are infected, remember to wash your hands properly and use disinfectant to clean ablution facilities after use. If you have to prepare food for others, make sure you wash your hands beforehand. </p><p>See our <a href="" target="_blank">Prevention Tips</a>.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Medical help</h2><h4>Visit your nearest clinic or doctor immediately if your child:</h4><ul> <li>Has a dry mouth or cries without tears</li><li>Has a fever of 38.9 °C or higher</li><li>Has a sunken soft spot (fontanel) on the top of his or her head</li><li>Has bloody stools or severe diarrhoea</li><li>Has not had a wet diaper in six hours</li><li>Is in a lot of discomfort or pain</li><li>Is vomiting for several hours</li><li>Refuses to drink the oral rehydration solution or breast milk</li><li>Seems lethargic (listless) or very irritable or is unusually sleepy, drowsy or unresponsive</li></ul><h4> If you're an adult, visit your nearest clinic or doctor if:</h4><ul><li>You are not able to keep liquids down for 24 hours</li><li>You have been vomiting for more than two days or if you are vomiting blood</li><li>You are dehydrated — signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine or little or no urine, and severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness</li><li>You notice blood in your bowel movements or if you have a fever above 40 °C</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Contact us</h2><p>For more information, contact your <a href="">nearest clinic or healthcare facility</a>.</p><p>If you find yourself in an emergency situation, contact <em><a>107</a></em> from a landline, or <em><a>021 480 7700</a></em> from a cellphone. </p>GP0|#4ff76143-af4c-4afd-affe-a21e3bce9396;L0|#04ff76143-af4c-4afd-affe-a21e3bce9396|Gastroenteritis;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#d65ab879-2884-426b-a380-7b8f9433c812;GPP|#090e430c-3809-42d5-a80b-caea93b2beaf;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711Learn more on the symptoms of gastroenteritis, as well as the prevention and treatment methods.0





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