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Acute viral gastroenteritis in children in resource-rich countries: Management and prevention

David O Matson, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Morven S Edwards, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD


The prevention and treatment of viral gastroenteritis in children in resource-rich countries will be reviewed here. The epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnosis of acute viral gastroenteritis in children in resource-rich countries; acute diarrhea in children in resource-limited countries; and chronic diarrhea in children are discussed separately.

(See "Acute viral gastroenteritis in children in resource-rich countries: Clinical features and diagnosis".)

(See "Approach to the child with acute diarrhea in resource-limited countries".)

(See "Overview of the causes of chronic diarrhea in children in resource-rich countries" and "Approach to the diagnosis of chronic diarrhea in children in resource-rich countries" and "Persistent diarrhea in children in resource-limited countries".)


Acute gastroenteritis is a clinical syndrome often defined by increased stool frequency (eg, ≥3 loose or watery stools in 24 hours or a number of loose/watery bowel movements that exceeds the child's usual number of daily bowel movements by two or more), with or without vomiting or fever [1-4]. It usually lasts less than one week and not longer than two weeks. Diarrhea that lasts >14 days is "persistent" or "chronic." Diarrhea that recurs after seven days without diarrhea is "recurrent."


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Apr 25, 2016.
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