What is it?

Diarrhea occurs when stools are pushed through the intestines before the water in them can be absorbed in to the body.  This causes more frequent, looser stools, sometimes with abdominal cramping.  There are many causes of diarrhea, the most common of which includes infections from viruses, bacteria, or parasites.  Certain medications such as antibiotics and laxatives can also cause diarrhea.

How is it spread?

Most cases of diarrhea are caused by the spread of the causative virus or bacteria by hand to mouth contact.  Prevent contamination by keeping your hands washed, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.

What can I do at home to take care of it?

When should I seek medical treatment?

ˇ          If you have severe diarrhea (more than 10 stools a day)

ˇ          Fever

ˇ          Abdominal pain or dehydration