Enteric pathogens associated with diarrhea were studied for two years at a diarrhea treatment center in rural Bangladesh. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) was the most frequently identified pathogen for patients of all ages. Rotavirus and ETEC were isolated from ~50% and ~25%, respectively, of patients less than two years of age. A bacterial or viral pathogen was identified for 70% of these young children and for 56% of all patients with diarrhea. Most ETEC isolates were obtained in the hot dry months of March and April and the hot wet months of August and September. Rotavirus identification peaked in the cool dry months of December and January, but infected patients were found year-round. The low case-fatality rates for patients with watery diarrhea and substantial dehydration further document the usefulness of treating patients with diarrhea with either a glucose- or sucrose-base electrolyte solution such as those used in this treatment center.
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