Acute diarrhea primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sudarshana Datta, MD [2]


Primary prevention of acute diarrhea includes measures such as counseling in patients and their close contacts. In addition, counseling prior to travel and hand washing using alcohol-based sanitizers are other recommended practices. Hand washing is particularly important for prevention of community-acquired diarrhea outbreaks in cruise ships or institutions.

Primary Prevention

  • According to the ACG Clinical Guideline, effective measures for the primary prevention of acute diarrhea include:[1]
    • Counseling for diarrhea prevention may be done for patients and their close contacts. Education is also recommended for the following population:
    • Counseling prior to travel to ensure avoidance of high-risk foods
    • Hand washing using alcohol-based sanitizers for prevention of community-acquired diarrhea outbreaks in cruise ships or institutions. Hand hygiene is essential in the following cases:
      • Before eating
      • Before and after handling food
      • After handling garbage
      • After touching animals or their feces
      • After using the toilet
      • After changing diapers
    • Affected individuals should avoid the following activities:
      • Swimming
      • Sexual contact when symptomatic
    • Additional infection control measures include:
      • Use of gloves and gowns
      • Appropriate food safety practices to prevent cross-contamination
    • Primary prophylaxis:
    • Vaccines:[2]
      • Typhoid vaccine: Oral and injectable
      • A live attenuated cholera vaccine (single-dose oral vaccine) is recommended for adults 18–64 years of age, travelling to endemic areas.


  1. Riddle MS, DuPont HL, Connor BA (2016). "ACG Clinical Guideline: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Acute Diarrheal Infections in Adults". Am. J. Gastroenterol. 111 (5): 602–22. doi:10.1038/ajg.2016.126. PMID 27068718.
  2. Shane AL, Mody RK, Crump JA, Tarr PI, Steiner TS, Kotloff K, Langley JM, Wanke C, Warren CA, Cheng AC, Cantey J, Pickering LK (2017). "2017 Infectious Diseases Society of America Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Infectious Diarrhea". Clin. Infect. Dis. 65 (12): 1963–1973. doi:10.1093/cid/cix959. PMID 29194529.

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