Diarrhoea in children and adults

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South Africa has a high rate of diarrhoeal disease across all age groups. Oral rehydration therapy is central to the management of acute diarrhoea, despite having no effect on disease duration or stool frequency

Learning objectives

  • An awareness of the features of acute gastroenteritis that motivate patients or their caregivers to seek emergency care
  • Which patients might need extra close monitoring or more invasive medical care
  • An understanding of epidemiological trends such as the major microbial causes of diarrhoea in the South African population
  • Insights on an approach to diagnosis of the infectious causes of diarrhoea, based on associated signs and symptoms, and an understanding of when empirical antimicrobial
    therapy is warranted
  • Recent evidence of the benefits of mucosal barrier protectors in combination with oral rehydration therapy for the management of diarrhoea.

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