WiRED Creates Module on Diarrhea in Adults


Diarrhea is a common problem most people face one or two times a year. It is also a global killer. Of deaths brought about by diarrhea, children are most likely to be affected, in part because of their size, but adults, too, die in large numbers from the condition.


WiRED’s Diarrhea in Adults Module describes the condition, its many causes, types, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Key actions to prevent diarrhea include access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation, hand washing with soap, good personal and food hygiene, health education about how infections spread and rotavirus vaccination.


Diarrhea occurs when a person experiences three or more loose stools or liquid bowel movements per day or more stools than is normal for that person. The condition is not a disease but usually a symptom of infection within the digestive system that can be traced to a variety of germs, bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms.


Rapid loss of water and salts results from diarrhea, which, if not replaced quickly, cause dehydration. If more than 10% of the body’s fluid is lost, then dehydration leads to death. Young children, older adults and people who are malnourished or have impaired immune systems make up those at high risk of dying from diarrhea.


A significant proportion of diarrhea can be prevented through safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. Yet, worldwide, 780 million individuals lack access to improved drinking water, and 2.5 billion lack improved sanitation. Diarrhea due to infection is widespread throughout low-resource countries.


Learn more by checking out WiRED’s new module on diarrhea in adults.



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Quiz Questions from WiRED’s Diarrhea in Adults Module

1. ___________ is also called dysentery.

 A. Bloody diarrhea
 B. Watery diarrhea
 C. Persistent diarrhea

2. Diarrhea occurs when a person has ___ or more loose stools or liquid bowel movements per day or more stools than is normal for the person.

 A. One  B. Two
 C. Three  D. Four

3. If more than ___ of the body’s fluid is lost, death occurs.

 A. 1%  B. 2%
 C. 5%  D. 10%