Rotavirus is one of the most serious causes of diarrhea in infants and young children. Toddlers who have rotavirus infections need to be watched closely, because they can become dehydrated very quickly. When your child becomes dehydrated, severe health problems can arise.
How is Rotavirus Spread?
The virus spreads through contact with the stool from an infected child. Toddlers between 6-24 months are at greatest risk for rotavirus infection. They can get rotavirus by accidently putting their unwashed hands or a contaminated object, food, or liquids into their mouth. It usually takes about 48 hours after first contact with rotavirus before symptoms develop. The virus can live on surfaces for months.
Common Symptoms of Rotavirus Disease
- High fever
- Often with Vomiting
- Watery and non-blood diarrhea
- Diarrhea can last from 5-7 days
If you suspect the diarrhea caused by rotavirus, screening may be made by rapid detection of rotavirus antigen in stool specimens. ELISA and Latex Agglutinin methods are used to confirm diagnosis.
Treating Rotavirus in Children
- Prevent and cure the dehydration: Plenty of liquids are important, including an oral rehydration salt fluid which is better delivered by a spoon than a straw. Drinking too fast can cause vomiting and nausea in children.
- Feeding: Giving food rich in carbohydrate is good for a child’s digestion system.
- Medicines: Zinc, Enkephalinase and Probiotics could ease the condition.
Please note that good hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of many infections to others. Moreover, the best way to protect your child from rotavirus is with rotavirus vaccine. Almost all children who get rotavirus vaccine can be protected from severe rotavirus disease.