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Passage of frequent loose, watery stools, often associated with the presence of pathogens responsible for the condition. Diarrhea is a symptom, not a diagnosis. The cause must always be sought. The condition ranges from mildly annoying to acutely life threatening when it is accompanied by severe fluid and electrolyte loss, especially in infants and children, among whom it causes 3 to 4 million deaths annually, despite oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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