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What is infectious diarrhoea? - IMODIUM®

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What is Infectious Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is the main symptom of a common stomach condition known as viral or bacterial gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and intestines - it affects approximately 20% of people in the UK every year.

What causes infectious diarrhoea?

The most common causes of gastroenteritis are:

  • Food poisoning. If you get gastroenteritis in this country, you might put it down to food poisoning. You should always be careful that food is cooked properly, you don’t leave food lying around and you wash your hands before eating.
  • Travellers’ diarrhoea. If you get gastroenteritis when abroad, it might be what’s called travellers’ diarrhoea. This can be caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It can also be down to eating unfamiliar rich or spicy foods or by exposure to new types of bacteria.
  • Norovirus. Sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is the biggest viral cause of gastroenteritis in the UK and a common cause of diarrhoea and vomiting.

How to prevent infectious diarrhoea

Gastroenteritis can be highly contagious. Go to our Managing Your Diarrhoea area for ways to avoid spreading the infection.

How to treat diarrhoea

It’s important to stay hydrated with infectious diarrhoea. You can use oral rehydration therapy to prevent dehydration. If you have severe diarrhoea, blood in your stools or a high temperature, or if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours consult your doctor.

Find out more about IMODIUM®

IMODIUM® Original capsules can stop diarrhoea in one dose.

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IMODIUM® IBS Relief helps you take control of your IBS diarrhoea.

IMODIUM® Instants dissolve instantly on your tongue, so they’re great for when you’re on the go.

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