Last reviewed: 21 Aug 2021
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • risk factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • malaise
  • anorexia
  • fever
  • volume depletion

Risk factors

  • exposure to contaminated food or water sources
  • close contact with infected people
  • poor hygiene
  • extreme ages
  • HIV infection
  • organ transplantation
  • chronic illness

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • full blood count
  • urea and electrolytes
  • creatinine

Investigations to consider

  • stool for culture, ova, and parasites
  • stool viral culture

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Expert advisers

Jenny Currigan,

ST6 Emergency medicine trainee

Royal London Hospital

Barts Health NHS Trust

London

UK

Disclosures

JC declares that she had no competing interests.

Johann Grundlingh, MBChB, FCEM, FFICM, EDICM, DFMS, DipMedTox, MMedTox, MSB, ERT, MEWI, MBA

Emergency Medicine Consultant

Royal London Hospital

Barts Health NHS Trust

London

Honorary Senior Lecturer

Queen Mary University

London

UK

Disclosures

JG declares that he has no competing interests.

Acknowledgements,

BMJ Best Practice would like to gratefully acknowledge the previous expert contributor, whose work has been retained in parts of the content:

Kyle E. Brown MD, FAASLD

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine

University of Iowa

Carver College of Medicine

Iowa City

IA

Disclosures

KEB declares that she has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Adam Evans,

Consultant Physician

Acute Medicine and Infectious Diseases Physician

Royal Victoria Infirmary

Newcastle upon Tyne

UK

Disclosures

AE declares that he has no competing interests.

Editors

Emma Quigley,

Section Editor, BMJ Best Practice

Disclosures

EQ declares that she has no competing interests.

Tannaz Aliabadi-Oglesby,

Lead Section Editor, BMJ Best Practice

Disclosures

TAO declares that she has no competing interests.

Luisa Dillner,

Head of Research and Development, BMJ

Disclosures

LD declares that she has no competing interests.

Julie Costello,

Comorbidities Editor, BMJ Best Practice

Disclosures

JC declares that she has no competing interests.

Adam Mitchell,

Drug Editor, BMJ Best Practice

Disclosures

AM declares that he has no competing interests.

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