The most common organisms which cause gastroenteritis are viruses. Children are particularly susceptible to these infections and almost every child will have had rotavirus, the most common cause, by the age of five
Gastroenteritis is usually highly infectious. It can be passed very easily from person to person and particularly in environments such as nursery where children are in close contact.
In addition to diarrhoea and vomiting, children affected by gastroenteritis may also have stomach cramps, headaches, aching arms and legs or high temperatures.
Symptoms may last as little as 24 hours or as much as seven days. Most people make a full recovery in 2-3 days.