Acute Gastroenteritis

Author(s): Anette Jacobs

Every year, millions of young children die from acute gastroenteritis, particularly in impoverished nations. In affluent countries, it is a common reason for visits to general practitioners or emergency rooms, as well as hospital hospitalisation. Dehydration, which can be accompanied by electrolyte imbalances and metabolic acidosis, is the most common and dangerous consequence. With careful oral or intravenous fluid management, dehydration and its harmful repercussions can be prevented. Antibiotics, anti-diarrhoeal medications, and anti-emetics are not recommended for everyday use and can be harmful. Prevention is the key to lowering gastroenteritis, and the recently approved, highly effective rotavirus vaccines will have a substantial public health impact.