Acute Gastroenteritis in Infants and Children

  • Asaad M. A. Abdullah AssiriEmail author
Reference work entry


Acute gastroenteritis is generally defined as a decrease in the consistency of stools (loose or liquid) and/or an increase in the frequency of evacuations (typically ≥3 in 24 h), with or without fever or vomiting. Diarrhea typically lasts less than 7 days and not longer than 14 days. However, a change in stool consistency vs. pervious stool consistency is more indicative of diarrhea than stool number, particularly in the first months of life.

Epidemiology and Incidence

In developing countries, acute gastroenteritis is a common cause of death in children under 5 years of age and that is caused by a wide variety of pathogens. In developed countries death from acute gastroenteritis is less common. Most of acute gastroenteritis is caused by viruses like rotaviruses, calciviruses, astroviruses, and adenoviruses; viral gastroenteritis affects children with two epidemiological patterns. In endemic area it affects children at all ages. Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe...


Food Poisoning Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Acute Gastroenteritis Watery Diarrhea Lactose Intolerance 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Head Division, Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & NutritionKing Khalid University Hospital, King Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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