Gastroenteritis in children, as in adults is an infectious illness affecting the upper gastrointestinal tract - the stomach and, less often the small bowel
- gastroenteritis is very common, with many children having more than one episode a year
There is diarrhoea; there may be vomiting and there is usually a systemic component manifested by fever.
- infective gastroenteritis in young children is characterised by the sudden onset of diarrhoea, with or without vomiting
- majority of cases of gastroenteritis in children are due to an enteric virus (e.g. rotavirus) but some are caused by bacterial or protozoal infections
- gastroenteritis is an illness that usually resolves without treatment within
- however note that severe diarrhoea can quickly cause dehydration, which may be life threatening