Almost all the under-fives have had rotavirus infection. The infection is among the most common causes of diarrhea and rotavirus gastroenteritis (severe infection). The infection causes dehydrating diarrhea in infants as well as young children.
Diarrhea through rotavirus has caused close to half a million deaths all over the world annually. The infection has become one of the most fatal causes of death of infants in underdeveloped and developing portions of the world. The underdeveloped and developing nations are the prime target of rotavirus infection because the areas do not have optimal healthcare and nutritional facilities.
Symptoms and signs of the infection
Kids having rotavirus infection have:-
- Regular vomits
The above three malaises are often followed by acute abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea. Kids having the infections can also be inflicted by cough as well as runny nose.
All the above-mentioned symptoms either do not surface or are mild when the infection is contracted by adults.
Many times, the dehydration – caused by diarrhea – that comes with rotavirus is severe. The signs of dehydration comprise:-
- A dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Less formation of urine
- Sunken Eyes
- Dry diapers for a long time (in Infants)
Is the infection contagiousness?
The rotavirus infection is very contagious, which is why it is one of the most deadly problems, occurring in daycare centers and schools.
What is the reason as to why infants or children are the primary target of the infection?
- The virus passes to the stools of an infected person (child or infant). If children put hands in their mouths after touching something contaminated, then they can get inflected by the disease.
- Another factor causing children or infants to get rotavirus infection is: A child, more often than not, does not wash hands after a trip to a washroom.
- People who work in facilities (nurseries and daycare centers) can also contribute in the spread of the infection. If workers (child caregivers and janitors) in the facilities do not wash hands after changing diapers or cleaning washrooms, then the chances of an outbreak rise.
How to prevent an outbreak of the infection?
A specific immunization schedule for kids has to be followed to prevent the infection. At present, two vaccines are developed to fight the chances of an outbreak of the infection:-
- RotaTeq vaccine is used for dealing with close to 75 percent of cases
- Rotarix vaccine is not as popular as compared to the RotaTeq
Previously, in circa 1999, a vaccine to prevent rotavirus infection was discontinued. The vaccine was repealed because it led to intussusceptions in children or infants. Another common way to prevent the infection is by maintaining utmost hygiene. The parent or guardian should ensure that the infant’s or child’s hands are washed after every visit to bathroom or outdoors.
The disease becomes baneful if care, precaution and a proper line of treatment are not followed.