Gastroenteritis, more commonly known as “gastro”, is an infection of the gut (intestines). It can range from mild tummy upset for a day or two, to severe diarrhoea and vomiting for several days or longer. Many germs (viruses, bacteria and other microbes) can cause gastroenteritis. Whilst it is often transmitted by contact with an infected person, it may also be caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria or viruses- this is commonly called food poisoning. Staying well hydrated is the key aspect of treatment- oral rehydration solutions such as Hydrolyte and Gastrolyte are particularly effective as they are absorbed very rapidly and replace fluids and electrolytes that have been lost. It’s important to recognise the signs of dehydration and seek appropriate medical attention. Children can be more prone to dehydration, and should be monitored very closely. In some cases medications to reduce nausea or diarrhoea may be useful. And if symptoms are slow to settle, further tests may be required. The articles below further discuss these issues.