Rotavirus is a virus that infects the bowels, causing a severe gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and bowels). Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children throughout the world and causes the death of about 500,000 children worldwide annually. The name rotavirus comes from the characteristic wheel-like appearance of the virus when viewed by electron microscopy. Babies and toddlers between 6-24 months of age are at greatest risk for developing severe disease from rotavirus infection. Adults sometimes become infected, but the resulting illness is usually mild.
HOW IS ROTAVIRUS DIAGNOSED?
The signs and symptoms of the patient and a physical examination can help a paediatrician make a diagnosis of this disease. An analysis of a stool sample of the patient can help to confirm this diagnosis.
HOW IS ROTAVIRUS TREATED?
Ideally, oral rehydration therapy is provided to such kids immediately. Besides this, for toddlers diet restrictions are imposed and soft foods like rice and potatoes are suggested. Breastfeeding is encouraged because the milk is easily digested. In rare cases, intravenous therapy or nasogastric intubation is needed. Delayed treatment can lead to risks of fatality.
DID YOU KNOW?
There is a vaccination available for rotavirus that helps in minimising the risks of the same.