What infections cause diarrhoea?

  1. Infections of the bowel:
    • Viruses, such as Rota virus and measles. Rota virus is the commonest cause of diarrhoea in children.
    • Bacteria, such as E. coli (Eschericia coli), Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Cholera.
    • Protozoa (small one-celled organisms), such as Giardia, Amoeba and Cryptosporidium.
  2. Infections outside the bowel:
    • Children with bacterial infections, such as otitis media, septicaemia and urinary tract infection may also have diarrhoea.
    • In some children who present with diarrhoea, the infection is not in the bowel but elsewhere (parenteral diarrhoea).

Rota virus infection of the bowel is the commonest cause of diarrhoea in children.

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