Gastroenteritis (tummy bug) is a gut infection that causes stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea (runny, watery poos).

The infection irritates your stomach and gut making the muscles tighten, causing vomiting or diarrhoea. Tummy bugs are very common, especially in children and can be passed on by someone who may or may not have symptoms.

You can get sick from an hour to five days after getting infected, depending on the bug. If you or someone in your family becomes very weak, has trouble waking up, has sunken eyes, is very pale, has stopped passing urine or has very dry skin and tongue, you may be dehydrated and need urgent attention. Dehydration is particularly common in children.

Further information

Further information on gastroenteritis and tummy bugs is available by visiting the following websites:

Health Navigator | Gastroenteritis

Health Navigator | Gastroenteritis in children

Early childhood centres | Fact sheets

Last updated 3 April 2023.