; A Research on Gastrointestinal Infections
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A Research on Gastrointestinal Infections


A Research on Gastrointestinal Infections

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									                                    Gastrointestinal Infections

Sometimes, diarrhea is simply due to some part of our recent diet that didn't agree with our
bodies or an illness our body is fighting off. Other times, however, it is due to ingestion of a
microbe that can potentially make us sick for many days, inducing watery diarrhea, vomiting,
fever, and other unpleasant symptoms. There are many viruses, parasites, and bacteria that can
infect our gastrointestinal systems if we happen to consume them.

Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Infections

In addition to diarrhea and vomiting, gastroenteritis can also cause fever, abdominal cramping,
and loss of appetite. If this lasts for several days, weight loss and dehydration can occur. In some
cases, there may be mucus or blood visible in the stool, as well. If the symptoms do not clear
within a few days or if you find blood in your stool, you should contact your doctor.

Risk Factors of Gastrointestinal Infections

The biggest risk during a gastrointestinal infection is dehydration. Because the vomiting and
diarrhea are so unpleasant, it may be tempting to stop taking in liquids. It is critically important
to stay hydrated, however, particularly for young children and infants. Fevers should also be
monitored in children with these infections, as excessively high body temperature could lead to

Depending on the pathogen, gastrointestinal infections can also be extremely contagious. Any
small quantity of germs may easily infect another person via a door knob, sink spigot, or
contaminated food or water. Very frequent hand washing is highly recommended. If you can
avoid going to work while suffering from such an illness (or keeping your child at home during
their illness), you are advised to do so to avoid spreading it to others. Although it may be
difficult to contain when sharing a home with another person, confining the ill person's toilet use
to a single bathroom may also avoid spreading the infection.

Causes of Gastrointestinal Infections

Through excellent hygiene, clean drinking water, and safe food preparation, most gastrointestinal
infections can be avoided. Most infections occur through what is called the fecal-oral route, in
which trace amounts of infected fecal particles are consumed. Although this sounds impossible
in a society with good sanitation systems, something as simple as poor hand washing habits after
using the restroom can spread diseases to other people through door knobs, shared hand towels,
or direct contact. If the recipient happens to touch their mouth or touch and eat food, they may
become infected. Certainly, infected food preparation areas (or food preparers) in restaurants are
also a potential sources of illness.

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