Other viruses don’t take a break

Other viruses don’t take a break

31 March 2022

With deconfinement as well as lower cases of COVID-19 in the past months, we are now experiencing an increase in other viral illnesses in children.

This is particularly true for viral gastroenteritis which is being seen in significantly more children presenting to the Montreal Children’s Hospital emergency department (ED) compared to the same time last year.  

Symptoms of gastroenteritis can include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or both
  • Fever

To avoid getting gastroenteritis, frequent hand washing is necessary, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper, before preparing meals and before eating. It is also recommended to clean surfaces (tables, countertops, doorknobs, etc.).

If you or your child has symptoms of gastroenteritis, please stay home until the symptoms go away.

When should you come to the ED?

If your child has symptoms of gastroenteritis, keep them home and make sure they drink plenty of fluids. If your child has a fever, you can give them fever-reducing medicine (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to make them feel better.

A visit to the ED is necessary if your child has symptoms that cannot be managed at home, such as:

  • Inability to tolerate fluids (amount of vomiting and/or diarrhea is the same or more than the amount your child is drinking)
  • Extreme sleepiness or difficulty waking up
  • Vomiting or diarrhea containing blood
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Signs of dehydration (no tears, very dry mouth, drowsier than usual, no urine for more than 8 hours)

For additional reasons to come to the ED, please click here and select the tab “When should you come to the ED?”.

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