Diarrhea Deaths Decoded
Every year, 800,000 children under age 5 living in the developing world die from a disease that’s usually considered a mere annoyance in the West—diarrhea. A team of scientists spent 3 years studying diarrheal diseases at seven sites in south Asia and Africa. The results were sobering: children with moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) were 8.5 times more likely to die within 60 days than children not suffering from MSD, the researchers report today in The Lancet. The team was surprised to discover that a majority of childhood MSD cases were caused by only four pathogens: rotavirus, the parasite Cryptosporidium, a strain of the Escherichia coli bacteria known as ST-ETEC, and the bacteria Shigella.
Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, GEMS): a prospective, case-control study