Worldmapper deaths Map 379, childhood diarrhoea Map 233, cholera deaths Map 232, cholera cases Map 231
Diarrhoea is often caused by food poisoning and by bowel (intestinal) infections. As most infections are spread by the faeces to mouth route, good sanitation and clean water and food hygiene all help to control their spread. When diarrhoea is profuse, replacement of fluid by mouth or if necessary by intravenous drip is important. Only some diarrhoeal infections respond to antibiotics.
Among the particularly nasty infections included here are ones caused by bacteria (cholera, typhoid, paratyphoid, salmonella, shigella) and microscopic single celled animals (amoeba causing amoebiasis, giardia causing giardiasis). Not every bowel infection causes diarrhoea.
Combined these diseases caused 13.2% of all deaths of children aged 0-15 years, mostly in poorer territories. When deaths occur in children with both diarrhoea and measles, or diarrhoea and lower respiratory infection, they are counted as being due to the second condition, not with diarrhoeal diseases. Counted in this way, 1.6 million children died from diarrhoeal diseases in 2002.
Diarrhoea caused 3.3% of all deaths worldwide in 2002 or 301 deaths per million people.