Common viruses responsible for causing gastroenteritis include astrovirus, calcivirus, enteric adenovirus, norwalk virus, parvo-virus, and rotavirus (groups A, B, C).
Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoeal diseasein infants and children, though there is a variant, which also affects older children and adults (adult diarrhoea rotavirus or ADRV).
Adenovirus is another common agent of diarrhoeal diseasein children. Incubation period of rotavirus/adenovirus diarrhoea varies from 24 to 72 hours. Vomiting begins abruptly and then resolves. Diarrhoea then settles in and lasts for 4 to 7 days. Stools are watery and foul smelling.
Parvovirus gastroenteritis is the adult variety with anincubation period of 24 to 36 hours, followed by abrupt onset of diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Myalgia is often present.
Viral diarrhoeas are invariably self-limiting and require only rehydration by way of treatment. Infants must be admin-istered oral rehydration solutions, while older children and adults can be managed on the BRATT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apples, Tea, Toast).
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