What is it?

  • Diarrhea means there are frequent, loose or liquid stools (feces)
  • There may be abdominal pain or cramping
  • It is a common problem that usually goes away on its own

How do you get it?

  • Gastroenteritis- it could be viruses such as Norovirus or Rotavirus which can be swallowed in food or drink
  • Stress
  • Sometimes treatment with an antibiotic
  • Alcohol (excessive amounts)
  • Intestinal (bowel) diseases or disorders
  • Food intolerances (allergies), for example, people who are unable to digest a component of food such as lactose in milk
  • Food poisoning- it could be bacteria such as Salmonella or Campylobacter

Treatment & Precautions

  • Ask yourself whether this is due to stress, food related, medicines or alcohol
  • Drink a lot of fluids, using rehydration solutions (such as Pedialyte) to replace lost fluid and salt
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet
  • Do not prepare food for other people, especially babies and old people
  • Do not go to work if you work in childcare, healthcare or food service

When to Seek Medical Attention

  • After a few days acute diarrhea does not go away
  • The diarrhea is severe or bloody
  • The patient is elderly (over 80) or very young (under 2)

A child in daycare/school is to be excluded from daycare/school until 48 hours since last diarrhea bowel movement