Signs and symptoms 

  • Diarrhea -- refers to the frequent passage of loose, watery and soft stool
  • Stool may contain mucus-liked or sometimes even some blood-stained materials
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps. The baby may just cry for nothing
  • Fever




  • AGE is a condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines (the gastrointestinal tract).
  • Viral infections are the most common cause of AGE
  • Bacteria and parasites also can be the offending agents
  • AGE spread through close contact with infected persons
  • Individuals may also become infected by eating or drinking contaminated foods or beverages.
  • AGE is not food poisoning which is actually a food-borne illness with similar symptoms but affecting a group of people who ate the same thing



  • Oral rehydration salts (ORS)
  • Probiotic
  • Give soft diet like watery porridge
  • May change the cow’s milk to lactose-free milk or soya formula if recommended by doctor
  • Clean the buttock frequently and quickly to prevent skin excoriation that caused by watery stool
  • If the kid is dehydrated, admit to hospital for intravenous hydration


Small tip while feeding a child with AGE

  1. The key to tackle AGE at home is oral rehydration and not necessarily calories. This means the kid may just take ORS without any food throughout the day. In the short term, hydration is more important than nutrition
  2. Parents must feed the kid with ORS successfully. That’s all !
  3. Parents may mix ORS into fruit juice, glucolin, ribenna or honey if kid refuses to take
  4. Just giving plain water is not recommended because it can dilute the electrolytes in the body and cause complications such as seizures due to low sodium
  5. Never give ORS too rush as kids with AGE may demand drink quickly to quench their thirst and then vomit
  6. Just give a small amount of ORS at one time and wait for 5-10 minutes and then repeat. If no vomiting, increase the amount slowly. If vomit, take a break and restart from smaller amount again
  7. Parents should not give milk to the vomiting kids though they want it badly
  8. Parents should not give any carbonated canned beverages although it may contains sodium and potassium
  9. If they can tolerate ORS well, parents can start giving some solid food like crackers, bread, porridge and cereals
  10. Monitor the hydration status of kids by assessing the following:-
    • Whether they are urinating,
    • If they have saliva in their mouths,
    • Tears in their eyes, and
    • Sweat in their armpits or groin
    • Activities


  • AGE is self-limiting
  • It occasionally can cause significant problems with dehydration

Dangerous signs that parents must know:

  • Dehydration – no urine output for 4 hours, inactive, dry mouth
  • Vomiting blood
  • Having full blown bloody or black stool (not blood-stained)
  • Persistent high fever over 3 days
  • Increasing severity of abdominal pain
  • Abdomen gets bloated up
  • Parents just can’t give ORS to kids successfully


  • Practice good personal hygiene
  • Frequent hands washing
  • Avoid as much direct contact with infected individuals as possible
  • Do not eat undercooked foods, especially meats like hamburger
  • Do not eat or drink raw foods or untreated water
  • Do not drink any untreated or unpasteurized fluids, especially milk
  • Take vaccine for protection. For example rotavirus vaccine for infants who are at risk of severe rotavirus AGE