Infectious diarrhea belongs to the most frequent infections worldwide and can be elicited by a wide array of microbial pathogens. In developed countries transmission occurs much more frequently from contaminated food as compared to direct person-to-person contact, except for enteric viruses which can also be transmitted by aerosol formation after vomiting. In Germany, more than 90% of cases are caused by the four pathogens Norovirus, Rotavirus, Campylobacter and Salmonella. Therapy of infectious diarrhea is mainly supportive. In cases with a severe or prolonged course, signs of inflammation, bloody stool, immunosuppression, comorbidity and in suspected outbreaks, fecal microbial analysis should be performed and a specific therapy should be considered if indicated.
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