What is the prognosis of bacterial gastroenteritis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Jennifer Lynn Bonheur, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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With proper management, the prognosis for bacterial gastroenteritis is very good, especially in industrialized countries. Mortality predominantly is due to dehydration and secondary malnutrition from a protracted course. Treat severe dehydration with parenteral fluids.

Once malnutrition from secondary malabsorption begins, prognosis becomes grim unless the patient is hospitalized and supplemental parenteral nutrition is started. Neonates and young infants are at particular risk for dehydration, malnutrition, and malabsorption syndromes.

Even though the mortality rate from bacterial gastroenteritis is low in industrialized countries, people can, and do, die from complications. Prognosis in countries without modern medical care or for patients with serious preexisting medical conditions is more guarded.

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