How Gastroenteritis Spreads in Nursing Homes

Gastroenteritis is a viral infection that leads to signs and symptoms that are similar to what most people think of as the “stomach flu.” This particular intestinal infection gets spread by contact with an infected person or by consuming food or water that has been contaminated with the virus. Nursing homes that lack proper infection prevention protocols often facilitate the outbreak of gastroenteritis, and this can lead to deadly consequences for nursing home residents. A nursing negligence lawyer in Portland may be able to assist if your family is impacted by a gastroenteritis outbreak.

What is Gastroenteritis and How is it Spread?

Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines, typically caused by viruses such as norovirus or rotavirus. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, and dehydration. The infection is very contagious and generally spreads rapidly, especially in communal living environments like nursing homes.

The primary ways gastroenteritis spreads include:

  1. Person-to-person contact. The virus can spread through direct contact with an infected person, such as touching their hands or sharing utensils.
  2. Contaminated food or water. Consuming food or water that has been contaminated with the virus can lead to infection.
  3. Surface contact. The virus can survive on surfaces such as doorknobs, bed rails, and medical equipment. Touching these contaminated surfaces and then touching the mouth or face can spread the virus.

How Nursing Home Negligence Contributes to the Spread of Gastroenteritis

Nursing home negligence can significantly contribute to the spread of gastroenteritis. Proper infection control protocols are essential in preventing outbreaks, but negligence can undermine these efforts. Here are some ways negligence in nursing homes can lead to the spread of gastroenteritis:

The Dangers of Allowing Gastroenteritis to Spread Uncontrollably in a Nursing Home

Allowing gastroenteritis to spread uncontrollably in a nursing home can have severe consequences. The close living quarters and high interaction levels between residents and staff create an environment where infections can spread quickly. Here are some of the dangers associated with uncontrolled spread: