What are the Different Types of Gastrointestinal Virus?

T. Carrier

Gastrointestinal viruses are the most common culprits behind stomach flu, or gastroenteritis. These bugs inflame the stomach and intestines, giving rise to many uncomfortable bodily symptoms. The main types of gastrointestinal virus are noroviruses, rotaviruses, adenoviruses, sapoviruses, and astroviruses.

A gastrointestinal virus will often cause stomach cramps and diarrhea.
A gastrointestinal virus will often cause stomach cramps and diarrhea.

The most common type of gastrointestinal virus is norovirus, which is responsible for most non-bacterial cases of stomach flu. After nesting in the small intestine, norovirus begins triggering symptoms in roughly two days. T-The result is typical gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Other prominent symptoms may include weakness, tiredness, fever, headache, and muscle ache. Norovirus can be transmitted by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food; it also can be airborne, so outbreaks are common.

Improper hand washing, followed by touching food utensils, can spread gastrointestinal viruses to others.
Improper hand washing, followed by touching food utensils, can spread gastrointestinal viruses to others.

Rotavirus is a type of gastrointestinal virus that has affected nearly every child in the world. Although its chief symptom is diarrhea, other ailments can include vomiting, dehydration, and a low-grade fever. The virus most often enters through the mouth, and it is commonly transmitted because of poor hand washing after a bowel movement. As with other gastrointestinal viruses, even the smallest amount of exposure can result in infection. Immunity to the virus can develop after repeated exposures.

A gastrointestinal virus can cause inflammation in the small intestine.
A gastrointestinal virus can cause inflammation in the small intestine.

A less frequent gastrointestinal virus offender is adenovirus. While this bug is usually associated with respiratory system infections, it can facilitate gastroenteritis. Symptoms are similar to those found with other viruses. Transmission typically occurs through water sources, such as overcrowded swimming pools.

The most common type of gastrointestinal virus is norovirus, which is responsible for most non-bacterial cases of stomach flu.
The most common type of gastrointestinal virus is norovirus, which is responsible for most non-bacterial cases of stomach flu.

Two final types of gastrointestinal virus primarily affect specific age groups. Sapovirus is the second most common virus found in the gastrointestinal tracts of adults. Astrovirus, on the other hand, causes stomach flu in infants and toddlers around the world. Transmission of both occurs through food and water, and those people with weakened immune systems and those in overcrowded conditions are most susceptible. Symptoms of both viruses mimic those of other gastrointestinal viruses.

The gastrointestinal tract includes a person's esophagus, stomach, intestines and colon.
The gastrointestinal tract includes a person's esophagus, stomach, intestines and colon.

Prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal viruses are important for individual and community health. Saliva and fecal contact are two of the more frequent agents of transmission, so hand washing and other sanitary safeguards constitute the most effective preventive measures. Likewise, vigilance in crowded areas where both people and environmental surfaces are easily contaminated is of utmost importance. If a person presents with symptoms, some degree of quarantine may be advisable. While most infections abate after a few days, one should seek medical care if symptoms persist or become more severe.

Norovirus is the most common type of gastrointestinal virus.
Norovirus is the most common type of gastrointestinal virus.
Rotavirus is a type of gastrointestinal virus that has affected nearly eery child in the world.
Rotavirus is a type of gastrointestinal virus that has affected nearly eery child in the world.
Adenovirus can be transmitted through water, like swimming pools.
Adenovirus can be transmitted through water, like swimming pools.
Stomach cramps are common when dealing with a gastrointestinal virus.
Stomach cramps are common when dealing with a gastrointestinal virus.

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