Gastric (intestinal) flu in the people is called inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, caused by an infection of a viral nature. In the medical directory, this disorder is referred to as gastroenteritis or rotavirus infection.
The inflammatory process can begin regardless of the age of the patient. True, children and people of old age are more likely to be infected. In adults, the disease is often hidden (asymptomatic), which is why it is sometimes difficult to detect the infection in time. The disease is considered quite infectious, has a short incubation period, can be transmitted through infected objects or from the carrier.
Ways of infection
Intestinal infection affecting the gastrointestinal mucosa, most often enters the body through unwashed, improperly processed, low-quality food. Children are more likely to catch intestinal flu after contact with other people's toys, due to dirty hands and unwashed garden crops. Drinking water from the tap can also be a source of infection. That is why it is so important to drink either purified water (bottled or passed through a household filter), or after boiling.
The virus can enter the body through airborne droplets. An infected person sneezes, coughs, emotionally speaks, and that’s all, pathogenic flora in the air.
Contact route of infection is found in places of large concentrations of people. This is typical of children's educational institutions, public transport, shops, offices.
After entering a healthy organism, the virus is active, and the lower the immune barrier, the shorter the incubation period: from 16 hours to 5 days. The acute period of the disease is observed within a week, after which the patient is rapidly recovering. However, pathogens are still able to be active for some time, from which the ill person still remains infectious.
Intestinal flu and his signs
Even with a hidden course, sooner or later the disease will declare itself. Patients who have once had a disease are not subsequently insured against relapses. Pathogens are very tenacious, they are not afraid of low and high temperatures. The body does not receive immunity after the disease, but, as a rule, repeated cases of intestinal influenza in a particular person are less acute.
Characteristic features of intestinal flu:
- Gastroenteritis begins with a sharp deterioration in well-being. The temperature rises, signs of a feverish state appear.
- Probably because of the symptoms in the form of a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, gastrointestinal tract infection and got its name "flu."
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are added to influenza signs. Liquid stools with an unpleasant sourish odor often yellowish. Fecal masses can change color, and blood veins are often found in feces.
- Constant abdominal pain of varying intensity, nature.
- The patient loses his appetite. The body quickly loses fluid. As an advice: no need to make the patient eat, it’s better to give him more to drink.
- General weakness.
- Exhaustion of the body during the exacerbation of the disease, as a result, weight loss.
- Anemic signs - dizziness, pallor - due to a sharp drop in hemoglobin level.
- There may be a slight reddening of the white of the eyes.
There are also symptoms of dehydration:
- dry mucous membranes;
- dry skin;
- dry or sticky sweat;
- insufficient tearing;
- cracked lips;
- effect of "sunken eyes";
- strong thirst.
Note that in adults the course of the disease is less aggressive than in children. However, in case of the slightest suspicion of rotavirus infection, in particular, in case of manifestation of characteristic signs of disorder, immediately seek medical help.
How to treat intestinal flu?
The disease goes through several stages of development:
- the incubation period is 1-5 days, symptoms of respiratory disorder appear;
- acute for 3-7 days, with characteristic signs of inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract;
- recovery - 4-5 days.
Acceptance of traditional antiviral drugs, like antibiotic therapy, will not help. Special anti-rotavirus drugs at the moment simply do not exist. So how do you treat intestinal flu?
The most appropriate therapy is the elimination of the symptoms and manifestations of the disease. The treatment is selected individually. In most cases, inpatient care is more effective than self-medication. Special content is required, as the patient is infectious.
The main therapeutic measures include:
- Taking antipyretic drugs - to normalize body temperature: aspirin, paracetamol, analgin.
- Normalization of the stool by taking drugs with absorbent properties.
- Short medication with digestive enzymes.
- Dietary compliance: vegetable soups, chicken broth, boiled rice without oil, kissels, compotes. You can not roast, spicy, fatty. Dairy products should be discarded during the acute course of the disease. But at the stage of recovery, lactic acids can cope with abdominal distension, gases, like rusks.
- Drink more to maintain normal body water balance.
- In the fight against signs of dehydration, rehydration therapy is used.
- Means, restoring intestinal microflora.
- Applicable and some drugs from the "people". For example, an infusion of pine buds. 200 ml of boiling water need 10 g of the plant. Within half an hour boil in a water bath, and after insist even the same. Take recommended daily several times. Dosage - 100 ml after meals.
Universal healers honey and lemon are also applicable as an anti-intestinal flu remedy. You need to prepare a honey-lemon drink and drink it three times a day for a glass.
Adults help well and such a folk remedy: a decoction of chamomile drug, wild rose, lime and willow bark. Mix the ingredients. For 200 ml of water you need to take 5 g of the mixture. Boil for 10 minutes. Drink no more than 1/3 of Art. before every meal.
The black elderberry decoction also helps (10 g of a plant in a glass of water should be kept in a water bath for 10 minutes), which should be taken in one shot after a meal. To the tool was not so nasty, sweeten with honey.
Intestinal flu prevention
After long-term observations, the doctors concluded that the exacerbation of intestinal infections is observed in the pre-season periods of acute respiratory infections, in the period of mass avitaminosis, in the summer. For the prevention of intestinal flu requires an integrated approach:
- The most important of the activities - personal hygiene. Wash hands before eating and after each use of the toilet, as well as after contacting money, returning from the street (especially if they were in a public place). Touch your face and mouth with dirty hands less. Items that have fallen on the floor, even if on the carpet, should be wiped or washed.
- It is better not to drink water from the tap, but if you really have gathered, then only after boiling.
- All food should be washed and, if possible, heat treated, especially dairy products, vegetables and fruits. Remember that viruses are very tenacious, and if you think that an apple that has lain in the fridge for several days can be eaten unwashed, it is not.
- At the time of treatment, select the patient separate dishes. The room where the patient was staying, household items with which he was in contact, must be disinfected. Traditional detergents, unfortunately, are not effective for disinsection. The only thing that will help is the treatment with highly concentrated chlorine-containing solutions. This also applies to sanitary rooms (toilet, bathroom).
- If someone of your loved ones caught intestinal flu, it should be isolated from healthy households or at least reduce physical contact.
- Always have on hand hygiene products (wet wipes, antiseptic sprays, gels). Especially if you are in nature, in the country, on the sea, on a walk, where it is not always possible to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Seasonal activities to strengthen the immune system. A balanced diet, maintaining the body's water balance, physically active lifestyles are typical recommendations for maintaining health.
Since in adults the intestinal flu is less pronounced, many believe that it is not necessary to be treated for an infection, saying that it will be over in a week. Adults are recovering much faster, it is a fact, which is explained by the strength of the body’s natural resistance (immunity).
In the absence of adequate therapy and with severe gastroenteritis, the likelihood of developing cardiovascular insufficiency and even death (2.5–3% of cases) is high. Follow the rules and stay healthy, then no intestinal infections can overtake you.