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Bacterial Gastroenteritis


What is bacterial gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It can cause symptoms ranging from mild to severe. A virus, bacterium, or parasite can cause gastroenteritis. When it’s caused by a type of bacteria, it’s called bacterial gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis is very common. Bacterial gastroenteritis is less common than viral gastroenteritis. But it’s still a major health risk. This is because you can get dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea.

What causes bacterial gastroenteritis?

The more common types of bacteria that can cause gastroenteritis include:

  • coli
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Shigella

What are the symptoms of bacterial gastroenteritis?

Symptoms can range from mild pain to life-threatening. Each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever (sometimes very high)
  • Belly (abdominal) cramping and pain
  • Diarrhea, possibly bloody
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance

These symptoms can happen with all forms of gastroenteritis (both viral and bacterial). High fever and bloody diarrhea are more common with bacterial gastroenteritis. Untreated severe bacterial gastroenteritis can lead to severe dehydration, nerve problems, kidney failure, and even death.