n. inflammation of the stomach and intestine. It is usually due to acute infection by viruses or bacteria or to food-poisoning toxins and causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. The illness usually lasts 3–5 days. Fluid loss is sometimes severe, especially in infants, and intravenous fluid replacement may be necessary. Viral or viral-type organisms (e.g. the norovirus) are common causes of highly infectious gastroenteritis and, unlike bacterial pathogens, can be spread by aerosol or minimal contact and not necessarily by the faeco-oral route.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.