[astrovir(us) + -idea]
A family of spherical or star-shaped, single-stranded RNA viruses distributed worldwide. The virus causes epidemic viral gastroenteritis in adults and children. The incubation period has been estimated to be 3 to 4 days. The outbreaks are self-limiting and in the absence of coexisting pathogens, the intestinal signs and symptoms last 5 days or less. Treatment, if required, is supportive and directed to maintaining hydration and electrolyte balance.