Rotavirus – What are the Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments?
Summary: Rotavirus is the most contagious infection which affects children and infants. It is always accompanied by Diarrhea which leads to dehydration of the body. It infects the intestine and is released along with the stool. A healthy life style and hygiene are needed to help to protect the children from the risk of getting infected with this virus.
Rotavirus is a case of severe Diarrhea among children and infants which causes around 600,000 deaths per annum throughout the world. Rotavirus derives its name from the appearance which is like a wheel. It is extremely common and infectious virus which leads to the infection of the digestive system. It is cause of Gastroenteritis among infants and small children. The virus generally infects the intestine and passes in the stool of the infected person.
Causes of Rotavirus
The virus has the ability to spread easily and at any time of the year. It is referred through various names like Viral Gastroenteritis, Rotavirus Gastroenteritis or Stomach Flu.
- The virus is released along with the stool of the infected person and is transmitted due to a hand-to-mouth contact.
- People are at risk of being infected with this virus upon touching the infected person or any surface or object touched by the infected person.
- The virus can spread before and after the development and exhibit of symptoms by the patient.
People infected with this virus have fever and vomiting in the initial stages, which can be followed by Diarrhea. They display illness after three days of exposure.
Some of the symptoms displayed by children infected with this virus are:
- Watery Diarrhea
- Cough and runny nose
- Abdominal cramps
In extreme cases, Diarrhea, which is accompanied by the virus, leads to extreme dehydration. A child may vomit more than 20 times a day during extreme conditions, which may even lead to death. It is important to recognize the symptoms of dehydration in the children to take the adequate measures. Some symptoms include:
- Dry skin and dry mouth
- Absence of tears while crying
- Extreme thirst
- Sunken eyes
- Irritability and restlessness
Diagnosis and Treatment for Rotavirus
Diagnosis of this Rotavirus is generally conducted on the stool of the infected person. Special testing of the virus is accomplished using enzyme immunoassay or polymerase chain reaction that determines the presence of any strains related to the virus. A blood or urine sample is collected in order to confirm Diarrhea in children.
Antibiotics are not useful to treat Rotavirus as they do not work against viruses. This virus can be treated through oral rehydration solutions, administrated on the recommendation of the doctor. Parents should encourage children to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Intake of fruit juices and soda should be prohibited as they exacerbate Diarrhea. It is highly important to contact a doctor in case of moderate or severe dehydration as the child may require to be treated at the hospital. Long story short, if there is a chance you have Rotavirus make sure to consult a physician immediately.