oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Causes of infectious diarrhoea : review
Acute-onset diarrhoea is common, and is generally caused by infection with a variety of viruses, bacteria or parasites. Acute diarrhoea may lead to life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte disturbances. When diarrhoea is not halted, there is a risk of disturbed digestion and the absorption of nutrients, with nutritional deterioration. Worldwide, diarrhoea is second only to respiratory illnesses as a cause of childhood deaths. Oral rehydration therapy is the mainstay of treatment for acute infectious, uncomplicated diarrhoea. Preventing dehydration is the main focus of treatment. Hospitalisation and intravenous fluids are necessary in severe cases.
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