Introduction

One of the primary concerns related to GI infection, regardless of the cause, is dehydration, which is the second leading cause of worldwide morbidity and mortality.1 Worldwide, dehydration is especially problematic for children younger than age 5.

However, the highest rate of death in the United States occurs among the elderly.1 Rehydration is the foundation of therapy for GI infections, and oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is usually preferred (Table 76-1).

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