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Acute Infectious Diarrhea

Despite reductions in mortality worldwide, diarrhea still accounts for more than 2 million deaths annually 1 and is associated with impaired physical and cognitive development in resource-limited countries. 2 In the United States, an estimated 211 million to 375 million episodes of acute diarrhea occur each year (1.4 episodes per person per year); such episodes are responsible for more than 900,000 hospitalizations and 6000 deaths annually.

3,4 Acute diarrhea, defined as an increased frequency of defecation (three or more times per day or at least 200 g of stool per day) lasting less than 14 days, may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, clinically significant systemic symptoms, or malnutrition. We focus here on acute infectious diarrhea in immunocompetent adults in industrialized countries.

Acute Infectious Diarrhea