Gastro: 2023 epidemic, duration, contagion, what to eat?

Gastro 2023 epidemic duration contagion what to eat

Stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting… Cases of gastroenteritis are reported in the north of France at the moment. Symptoms, duration of contagion, treatments. What to do in case of gastro?

The gastroenteritis is a common viral disease in autumn-winter. She is very contagious. Difficult to miss when a family member is sick! The people most at risk in case of gastroenteritis are the young children (from 6 months to 3 years) because their immune system is immature and the the elderly, because their immune system weakens with age. the North of France is particularly concerned early 2023. What are his warning symptoms (diarrhea,…) ? How spreads gastronomy ? How long toughdoes she? How many days are we contagious ? What are the treatments the most effective? what to eat ? Our guide.

Where is the gastro epidemic 2023?

In week 52 (from December 26 to January 1, 2023), the incidence rate of diarrhea cases acute seen in general medicine consultation was 107 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, an increasing rate compared to week 51 and at a level of activity lower than those usually observed during this period according to the Public Health France published on January 3, 2023. At regional levelthe lowest incidence rates higher are observed in Brittany, Normandy and Centre-Val-de-Loire.

Definition: what is gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis results from inflammation of the digestive system (stomach walls and intestine). It is the lining of the intestine that is inflamed by a pathogen (which can cause disease). The so-called gastroenteritis winter (which occurs especially between November and March) is most often of origin viral and more rarely bacterial.

What is the incubation time of the virus?

This disease usually manifests itself after a time incubation from 1 (if it is a bacterium) to 3 days (if it is a virus) approx. This time varies depending on the type of bacteria or virus.

Is gastro contagious?

Viral gastroenteritis is contagious. Contagiousness relates to symptomatic phase disease and persists after symptoms end. The transmission of rotaviruses is above all fecal-oral, conveyed by hands or indirectly through contaminated surfaces and objects (via vomiting and stools). “Rotaviruses survive for several hours on hands, nine days in aerosol (during vomiting) and more than 64 days at 20°C in tap water” reminds thehandles.

What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?

The most common symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are:

  • abdominal cramps
  • the loss of appetite,
  • them nausea,
  • them vomiting,
  • a slight fever (38°C),
  • the diarrhea (at least 3 liquid or semi-liquid stools every 24 hours)
  • tiredness
  • sometimes a headache
  • muscle pain

Symptoms appear suddenly 12 to 24 hours after infection by the virus and are not necessarily all present together. Most of the time benign, gastroenteritis can however have serious consequences for the most fragile people (infants in particular because of the risk of dehydration).

What to do against diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a transit disorder characterized by loose stools, even liquids, in an abnormally high quantity or with an increased frequency of occurrence, of the order of several times a day. It is a symptom frequently associated with gastroenteritis. It usually disappears in a few days, but some good advice can help alleviate it in the meantime:

► Eat pasta, rice, semolina, potatoes, salty broths.

Avoid dairy products and raw vegetables and fruits.

Stay hydrated drinking water or herbal teas to avoid diarrhea-related dehydration

► Take treatment such as intestinal dressings (Smecta) and transit retardants combined with antipyretics in the event of fever (Dolipane), antispasmodics (Spasfon), antiemetics in the event of nausea and/or vomiting.

► To compensate for sodium leaks such as oral rehydration solutions in children and the elderly.

What causes gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis can be caused by:

  • One virus : norovirus most often in adults and rotavirus in children.
  • A bacterium : the most frequent bacteria are Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella and Yersinia. It can also be enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli or Clostridium difficile,
  • One parasite (like Giardia intestinalis.)
Diagram of the intestinal mucosa during gastroenteritis © Roberto Biasini – 123RF

How long does gastroenteritis last?

Gastroenteritis heals in three to eight days. In some people, gastro can last up to 10 days, if it started during a trip abroad or on returning from a trip (bacterial or parasitic origin).

Its symptoms being characteristic of gastro, this pathology is diagnosed quite easily, especially during a period of epidemic. No examination is necessary in front of a typical presentation. In the event of persistence beyond a week or in the face of poorly tolerated symptoms, it is quite possible to carry out a blood test and a stool examination (also called coproculture) which will allow you to look for a possible bacterial infection. The identification of rotavirus is done in the stools of patients by immunology (ELISA tests) or by RT-PCR.

Food in case of gastro

Gastroenteritis directly affecting the digestive system, transit is particularly disturbed and digestion more than difficult. It is also important to choose your food carefully when you suffer from diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and more generally stomach aches. For example, we favor the rice, pasta, bananas… and we avoid anything that will attack the digestive system: raw fruits, raw vegetables, orange juice, soft drinks…

What treatments should be taken to treat gastroenteritis?

To treat gastroenteritis, nothing better than to rest. Against headaches, it is necessary to take analgesics type paracetamol. To lessen the pain, you can take “transit speed bumps” which reduce bowel contractions and decrease stool frequency. Ask your pharmacist for advice before using them because they are contraindicated if you have diarrhea with blood in the stools or chronic intestinal inflammation (Crohn’s disease). Furthermore, the absorbents and intestinal protectors, which act locally in the intestine by variable mechanisms (covering power, adsorption of gases, etc.) can also be prescribed, but they must be taken at a distance from other drugs because they can reduce their effects. Finally, to reduce diarrhea and vomiting, antidiarrheals can be prescribed. Treatments based on diosmectite (type Smecta®) can be prescribed in addition to good rehydration (at least between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day) for diarrhoea. Warning: they are contraindicated in children under 2 years old.

Always seek the advice of a doctor or pharmacist, respect the dosage and duration of treatment and keep your medicine in its original box.

When to worry about gastro in the baby?

Gastroenteritis should be closely monitored when it affects children, especially infants. Diarrhea in babies increases the risk of dehydration. The virus in question is the rotavirus, it is very contagious.

The gastro virus is very contagious. It can be transmitted by contact with a sick person, but also by sputtering or by touching a contaminated object in the case of viral gastroenteritis.

  • Scrupulous hygiene is therefore essential. to avoid contracting it, starting with hand washing. This must become a reflex, especially after taking public transport, after sneezing or blowing your nose and before preparing a meal, and last at least 30 seconds. The use of soap is preferred. The hydro-alcoholic gel type solutions (SHA) are effective in killing many, but not all, transmissible microbes. They must therefore remain an emergency solution in the absence of a water and soap point, advises the Institute for Prevention and Health (Inpes).
  • Another tip is to avoid direct and indirect contact with infected or potentially infected people if possible. Likewise, avoid crowded placessuch as transport or department stores.
  • Furthermore, be sure to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughlylimit the consumption of raw foods, and do not eat expired foods.
  • Finally, consider ventilate each room from his place of life every day during at least 10 to 15 minutes to renew the air and prevent the spread of microbes.

Sources : Characteristics and sources of rotavirus. Handles. April 2012. / Sentinel Network.