Infectious Gastroenteritis in New Jersey
Gastroenteritis is the most common infectious illness and can at times require urgent medical attention. The Digestive Health & Nutrition Center has two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Princeton, New Jersey where you can receive the exceptional care you deserve. Angela Merlo, M.D. is an experienced Gastroenterologist with particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Gastroenteritis.
What is Infectious Gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is the rapid onset of diarrhea than lasts less than two weeks and may be accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or fever. Gastroenteritis is the most common infectious illness worldwide. The causes of Gastroenteritis are infectious bacteria or viruses or occasionally parasites. Common examples are Rotavirus, Salmonella, and Shigella. The illness is usually self-limited, resolving within a few days or less without the need for medication. There are usually no complications and recovery is usually complete. However, medical intervention is required in severe cases. And, some affected individuals experience prolonged effects after resolution. This syndrome has been labeled Post-infectious Functional Bowel Disorder.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone can acquire an infectious Gastroenteritis from contaminated food or water or from another affected individual. Hand washing prevents the spread of most cases of gastroenteritis. Young children, the elderly, and individuals with medical conditions such as diabetes are prone to develop more serious problems. Alarm symptoms and signs that indicate the need for medical intervention include:
- Abnormal blood chemistry tests
- Blood in stool
- Severe abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Persistent symptoms for more than 5 days
- Recent antibiotic use
How Can I Reduce My Risk?
There are many easy ways to prevent infectious Gastroenteritis including:
- Cook foods thoroughly
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating
- Discard spoiled food
- Do not share eating utensils or glasses
- Do not change diapers in food preparation areas
- Wash hands after changing diapers and before eating
Treatment for Infectious Gastroenteritis
When the infectious Gastroenteritis lasts only a short time there is usually no need for treatment other than rest and drinking fluids and eating foods as tolerated. Individuals at risk for more serious problems or when alarm signs and symptoms are present should seek specialized medical attention. Dr. Merlo is available to assist in your particular situation.
If you have symptoms of infectious Gastroenteritis contact the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center for an appointment with Dr. Merlo in Lawrenceville or Princeton, New Jersey today. Dr. Merlo is experienced in the care of adults as well as children with Gastroenteritis.