Queen Elizabeth II of England, who has now been on the throne for 60 years, has been hospitalized with gastroenteritis. Or, officially speaking "symptoms of gastroenteritis." These usually include vomiting and diarrhea. It goes to show that no one is safe. By the way, remember Hillary Clinton's similar illness a few months ago?
The news media is stating that the cause is either food poisoning or a "stomach flu" (meaning that it is caused by a virus). If it is a case of norovirus - quite likely, since there has been a large outbreak of it in Britain this winter - she may have caught it from one of the British Olympic stars to whom she presented awards on Friday morning (she first became ill on Friday night), or, from anyone else she had contact with on that or other occasions. It is very contagious.
But it is unlikely that she caught it from a banister or other surface, since she wears gloves much of the time. Or, she could also have caught it from a food or drink item that was contaminated with the virus - or, become ill from food contaminated with bacteria. In that case, it would be classified as "food poisoning." I guess we'll have a better idea once the lab tests come in or the palace issues a more detailed statement.
The Queen is now 87 and in remarkably good health. However, as you get older, you are more vulnerable. Gastroenteritis can also hit you harder and recovery can be slower. Finally, you are more likely to have serious complications such as dehydration or worse. This, apparently is the reason why Queen Elizabeth was hospitalized - to make sure she recovers fully as soon as possible, and to avoid complications.
To your good health,
Update: The Queen has been released from the hospital - a day earlier than planned.