Gastroenteritis means inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines. Viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses that result in vomiting or diarrhea. It is often called the “stomach flu” although it is not caused by the influenza viruses.
Acute gastrointestinal infection may be caused by a variety of agents, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa. However, only a few agents have been documented in nosocomial transmission. Nosocomial transmission of agents that cause gastrointestinal infections usually results from contact with infected individuals, from consumption of contaminated water, food and other beverages or exposure to contaminated objects or environmental surface. Airborne transmission of small round structured viruses has been postulated but not proved.