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Viral Gastroenteritis Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Gastroenteritis (stomach bug) usually goes away on its own.
  • Treat nausea, diarrhea, and other symptoms with OTC medications and drink fluids to stay hydrated.
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When you may need a provider

  • Symptoms have not improved in 3 days.
  • You have a high fever (above 102F), bloody diarrhea or vomit, or you are pregnant.
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Emergency Care

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Call 911 or go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • You can’t keep liquid down
  • Have severe diarrhea with lightheadedness

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for viral gastroenteritis
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Read more about viral gastroenteritis care options

When to see a healthcare provider

Viral gastroenteritis usually gets better on its own. The biggest risk is becoming dehydrated if you are vomiting or have frequent diarrhea. Children need to be watched closely to make sure they are drinking enough fluids.

You may want to talk to a healthcare provider if your symptoms are lasting several days or not improving. It’s important to talk to a doctor if you are elderly or have a weakened immune system and have diarrhea or vomiting. See your pediatrician if your baby or toddler has these symptoms.

Getting diagnosed for viral gastroenteritis

There is no test for a viral gastroenteritis diagnosis. Your doctor may check to make sure you aren’t dehydrated. If your doctor is concerned that you may have a bacterial infection or food poisoning, they may order blood and urine tests.

What to expect from your visit

  • If you have signs of dehydration, your doctor will advise you on how much to drink. If it’s severe, they may send you to the hospital for intravenous (IV) fluids.
  • A doctor may prescribe anti-nausea medications for vomiting.

Types of viral gastroenteritis providers

  • A primary care provider can treat most cases of viral gastroenteritis.
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Frequently asked questions