What is rotavirus? Know the causes, symptoms and treatment
What is Rotavirus?
Rotavirus is an infectious virus that causes diarrhea. This is a very common cause of diarrhea in infants and children. This has caused more than two lakh deaths across the world. Rota is a Latin word which means wheel. Rotavirus has a round shape when viewed through a microscope. For this reason it was named ‘Rotavirus’. Before rotavirus medications were developed, most children in the United States (US) contracted the virus before the age of five. Although there is no medicine available to treat rotavirus, there are some medicines that are effective in reducing its symptoms. Children who have been vaccinated against rotavirus can also suffer from this problem.
What is the risk of rotavirus?
Rotavirus infection is very common in people who:
The risk of rotavirus infection is higher in children between 3 to 35 months. Especially those children who spend more time in child care centers etc. than at home.
Elderly people and those who take care of small children are also more likely to get this infection.
In the United States, the risk of getting rotavirus is higher in the winter and spring.
Symptoms of rotavirus –
- Rotavirus infection begins with fever and vomiting, followed by loose diarrhea for 3-8 days. There may also be stomach pain in this. Healthy adults may show only minor symptoms of rotavirus infection or may not be affected by the infection at all.
- excessive diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
- You have been vomiting repeatedly for three hours.
- High fever (fever of 103 degrees or higher)
- The child appears lethargic, irritable, or in pain
If there are signs of dehydration in the body, such as dry mouth, no tears when crying, very little or no urination, abnormal sleep or looking emotionless.
Diagnosis of rotavirus –
Rotavirus is diagnosed based on the patient’s symptoms and physical examination. The stool may also be tested in the laboratory to confirm the diagnosis.
What are the causes of rotavirus?
Rotavirus is present in the stool of an infected person for 10 days before symptoms appear and for 10 days until symptoms subside. The virus spreads easily through hand-to-mouth contact throughout this time – even if the infected person does not have symptoms.
If the person is suffering from rotavirus and the person does not wash his hands after using the toilet. Also if the baby has rotavirus and you don’t wash your hands after changing your baby’s diaper or helping your baby use the toilet, the virus can spread to anything you touch including food, toys and utensils. If another person touches your unwashed hands or a contaminated object and then touches his or her mouth, infection may occur. The virus can remain infectious on surfaces for weeks or longer if the area is not disinfected. Because there are many types of rotavirus, it is possible to become infected more than once if you have been vaccinated. However, repeat infections are usually less serious.
What is the treatment for rotavirus?
There is no specific treatment available for rotavirus. However, to prevent infection, doctors give some doses of antibiotics. Generally, this infection resolves on its own within 3 to 8 days. Take special care that there is no shortage of water in the child’s body. According to the doctor, if the child has rotavirus, then the child should be given more water to drink during this period. Apart from this, fluids can be given so that there is no shortage of water.
To overcome dehydration in children, some substances can be given by mixing them in water which prevent dehydration. In some cases, there is severe dehydration and need to be given water transfusion in the hospital.