Although there are many causes of diarrhoea and vomiting, they are usually symptoms of an underlying pathology, such as norovirus or rotavirus. Ongoing diarrhoea and vomiting can also particularly affect morbidity and mortality in vulnerable groups.

Infectious diarrhoea is very common, but usually self-limiting, resolving itself within several days. It is, however, important to prevent the onward transmission to other service users, staff and/or visitors wherever possible.

All cases of diarrhoea and vomiting should be treated as infectious until an alternative cause has been identified.