What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea and diarrheal diseases are common childhood diseases that are preventable and treatable, but mainly affects children under two years of age, as explained by the World Health Organization (WHO).

For children under five worldwide, diarrhea is a major cause of malnutrition and an important health issue. Especially diarrhea in infants and children under 3 years of age is dangerous because it can cause sudden dehydration.

What is diarrhea?

It is known as diarrhea loose, liquid and frequent bowel movements.

Diarrhea occurs when food or liquids that your child consumes pass too quickly or in large quantities by the colon, as explained by the Mayo Clinic.

Normally the colon absorbs fluids from foods eaten and left in the body semisolid feces. But if the colon can not absorb fluids from the food you eat, the result is a liquid evacuation.

Causes of diarrhea

There are several reasons why your child may suffer from diarrhea. There are several types of treatments that you can consider when your child is sick. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common causes to trigger diarrhea are the following


Viral hepatitis includes hepatitis A, B, C, and D. However, hepatitis A is the type that affects children and causes diarrhea. It is short-lived and once your child recovers is unlikely to collapse again. The virus is found in the feces of people who have the infection. Vegetables, fruits, vegetables and seafood can also transmit this type of hepatitis if they had contact with contaminated water or other unsanitary conditions.

Rotavirus is a common and frequent infection, which may be severe among children under five years of age. It causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea. It can also lead to dehydration. All of these viruses can cause mild to severe diarrheas. Rotavirus is transmitted by contact with food, hands or contaminated by feces of infected objects.


Among the bacteria that also cause diarrhea are campylobacter, salmonella, shigella Campylobacter jejuni, also contracts eating contaminated food or raw, from unpasteurized milk or raw meats. Escherichia coli bacteria or E. coli lives in the intestines of animals and people. There are many strains of E. coli most are not harmful, but the E. coli O157: H7 is highly dangerous. E. coli causes intestinal infection also results in diarrhea. contaminated food or unpasteurized milk or juices can spread the infection.


Parasites such as Giardia lamblia, at least in the United States is one of the main triggers of diarrhea. The Cryptosporidium parasite is commonly found in lakes and rivers, especially when the water is contaminated with sewage and animal waste. It is a resistant parasite that can also be found in the pools. Likewise, the Cyclospora parasite also found in fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces causes gastroenteritis, diarrhea being the main symptom, which may last up to two months but is treated.

Lactose intolerance


According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC for its acronym in English) the greatest risk factor for developing infections of C. difficile, both pediatric patients and adults, is taking antibiotics .

It can take weeks or even months for the intestinal flora of the pediatric patient is restored, why the child is vulnerable during this perĂ­do recovery from infections such as C. difficile, either from contaminated surfaces or through the spread with other infected people.

The CDC confirmed that 73% of childhood cases acquired the infection C. difficile had ingested antibiotics recently.

Other digestive disorders

To date there are two vaccines against diarrhea, which are applied orally and come in four types of presentations, says the World Health Organization (WHO by its acronym in English).

However, the Indian government announced that it is developing a new antidiarrheal inexpensive vaccine to inoculate children against known rotavirus and help fight the second leading cause of child mortabilidad in the world, after pneumonia. According to the National Institute of deseases Infeccionsas and Allergies (NIH for its acronym in English) the vaccine is in Phase III development and has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO for their you continue in English. )

The vaccine against rotavirus known by the name of Rotovac has been tested and proven to be safe for children. Scientific research to manufacture the new vaccine has resulted from an international scientific partnership between the Indian company Bharat Biotech, the Foundation Bill and Melinda Gates, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC for its acronym in English) and the Health Deapratamento EE: UU. it belongs to the National Institute of Allergy and Infeccionsas deseases.

Fonts by: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health, Mayo Clinic, MedlinePlus.