Intestinal Infection

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Overview

Intestinal infection refers to an acute Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection of the small intestine. The scientific term used for such infections is “Gastroenteritis.” It is an extremely common condition and affects individuals of all ages.

Causes

Since it is an infection, there is a long list of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause the infection. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Norovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Escherichia coli
  • Shigella
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Yersinia

There are numerous methods in which an individual can contract these infections, such as:

  • Contact with someone who has the infection
  • Intake of food or water that has the infection
  • Poor hygiene

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of intestinal infection are usually mild and resolve within a few days on their own. The following are the main symptoms:

  • Sudden, watery diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Body ache

Diagnosis

Even though the conduction of tests isn’t usually necessary, as the diagnosis is made on medical history and examination, the following tests can help get to a definitive diagnosis:

  • Stool direct report
  • Stool culture to identify the presence of the organism in the stool
  • Blood culture to check for presence of organism in the blood

Treatment

The treatment is not necessarily indicated unless the condition is severe. The following measures are usually enough to manage intestinal infection:

  • Give hydration/fluid
  • Paracetamol for fever and body ache
  • Rest
  • Antidiarrheal – loperamide
  • Antiemesis (emesis means vomiting) – metoclopramide
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