Rotavirus is an infection among children that results to vomiting and diarrhea. It generally occurs from late winter up to early spring. It can affect individuals of all ages but mostly children below 1-year old.
Almost all children will acquire rotavirus by 5 years of age since it is extremely communicable. The virus spreads if an individual is exposed to stool, which is why it is vital to encourage the child to practice good hand washing
What are the indications?
A child with rotavirus might have these symptoms:
- Fever of 101 degrees F
- Watery diarrhea that lasts for 5-7 days
The child might be less playful and sleeps more. Take note that fever and vomiting generally lasts for 2 days, but diarrhea might last for up to a week.
When to consult a doctor
As a viral infection, antibiotics will not help. A doctor should be consulted if there is increased diarrhea and/or vomiting or if the child has no soiled diapers for more than 8 hours.
The other indications of dehydration include dry lips, pale skin and sunken eyes. Remember that children are prone to dehydration quickly if diarrhea and vomiting persists which can lead to serious complications and even death.
- Instead of large meals, provide the child with small, frequent feedings.
- Carefully follow the instructions given by the doctor
- Provide the child with enough fluids
- An electrolyte replacement might be suggested but carefully following the packaging instructions
- For fever, provide the child with the appropriate dose of acetaminophen.
- Thoroughly wash hands after changing diapers.
- Ensure that the child gets adequate rest.
Management of rotavirus
Even though most children get better at home, infants who are dehydrated might require hospitalization.
The doctor might test the blood or stool of the child to be sure that the cause is a virus and not bacteria. The treatment in a healthcare facility might include fluids administered intravenously and slowly increase the intake of food.