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Global Health
June 19, 2013

Causes of Diarrheal Disease

JAMA. 2013;309(23):2430. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7391

New insights into the causes, incidence, and clinical outcome of moderate to severe cases of diarrheal disease in infants and young children have emerged from a large prospective case-control study in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, report an international team of researchers (Kotloff KL et. Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736[13]60844-2 [published online May 14, 2013]).

The 3-year study involved more than 20 000 children from birth to 59 months who sought medical care for moderate to severe diarrhea at 7 sites. Rotavirus, Cryptosporidium, Shigella, and a strain of Escherichia coli called ST-ETEC caused most cases. Affected children showed a reduction in linear growth after the episode of diarrhea and had 8.5 times greater odds of dying during the 2-month follow-up period compared with children in the control group.