The main complication of viral gastroenteritis is dehydration — a severe loss of water and essential salts and minerals. If you're healthy and drink enough to replace fluids you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration shouldn't be a problem.
Infants, older adults and people with suppressed immune systems may become severely dehydrated when they lose more fluids than they can replace. Hospitalization might be needed so that lost fluids can be replaced intravenously. Dehydration can be fatal, but rarely.
Dec. 02, 2014
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Norovirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Viral gastroenteritis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/viralgastroenteritis/index.htm. Accessed May 20, 2013.
- Matson DO. Rotavirus vaccines for infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 21, 2014.
- Hoa Tran TN, et al. Molecular epidemiology of norovirues associated with acute sporadic gastroenteritis in children: Global distribution of genogroups, genotypes and GII.4 variants. Journal of Clinical Virology. 2013;56:185.
- Norovirus: Clinical overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/hcp/clinical-overview.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Cortese MM, et al. Effectiveness of monovalent and pentavalent rotavirus vaccine. Pediatrics. 2013;131:e25. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/1/e25.full. Accessed Oct. 10, 2014.
- Rotavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/index.html. Accessed Oct. 10, 2014.
- Rotavirus. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/rotavirus/en/. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Matson DO. Viral gastroenteritis in children: Prevention and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 21, 2014.
- Travelers' health: Food and water safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/food-water-safety. Accessed Oct. 21, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.