Rotavirus is a group of virus which causes severe diseases in children. The incubation period lasts about 2 days, then vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and watery diarrhea start. Fever and vomiting are lost 2-3 days, while diarrhea may take up to 1 week-10 days.
IS IT CONTAGIOUS?
Rotavirus is highly contagious. It is transmitted through microbe infected water, food or touching. In crowded environments it spreads easily, particularly when children forget to wash their hands before eating and after toilet. It is so contagious that no matter how well the general conditions of hygiene is, nearly all children under the age of 5 have rotavirus diarrhea. Particularly affects children under 2 years of age. In temperate climate zone countries, it is seen during the winter months.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
The doctor asks some questions about the patient’s medical history, symptoms and medications. Doctor also performs a physical exam. Stool test (rapid antigen detection test) also should be done.
The goal of treatment is to prevent dehydration. Often a small amount of oral fluid intake is appropriate. The doctor may recommend salt-sugar mixture. If adequate fluid intake by mouth is not carried out, especially in young children, serum treatment in the hospital may be required. It is vital important that breastfeeding shouldn’t be stopped in infants. Antibiotics will not work. Drugs to stop vomiting and diarrhea are not recommended.
Before 2007, there were no vaccine available to prevent rotavirus. However, as a result of studies, a protective and reliable vaccine has been obtained. But the most important preventive method is to gain the habit of hand washing. Sick children should be kept away from the crowd until healed. This is important to prevent the transmission of the disease to the others.