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Viral gastroenteritis

  • Alternative Names

    Rotavirus infection; Norwalk virus; Gastroenteritis - viral; Stomach flu

    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting

    Other symptoms may include:

    • Chills
    • Clammy skin
    • Excessive sweating
    • Fever
    • Joint stiffness
    • Leakage (incontinence) of stool
    • Muscle pain
    • Poor feeding
    • Vomiting blood (very rare)
    • Weight loss

    Signs and tests

    Your health care provider will look for signs that the body does not have enough water (dehydration). These include:

    • Dry or sticky mouth
    • Lethargic or comatose (severe dehydration)
    • Low blood pressure
    • Low or no urine output; concentrated urine appears dark yellow
    • Markedly sunken soft spots (fontanelles) on the top of an infant's head
    • No tears
    • Sunken eyes

    Tests that examine stool samples may be used to identify the specific virus. This is usually not needed for viral gastroenteritis. A stool culture may be done to identify a bacterial cause for diarrhea.