ROTAVIRUS DISEASE

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Last Updated : 8/11/2008
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Dr. Ira Shah
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What is Rotavirus disease ?
Rota virus is one of the leading causes of diarrhea in children. Rotavirus infection is global. It predominantly infects children less than 2 years of age. Children present with sudden watery diarrhea resulting in severe dehydration. Infact approximately 60% of diarrhea in children is said to be due to rotavirus infection.

How does Rotavirus spread ?
Rota virus spreads through ingestion of contaminated water and food.

What are the symptoms of Rota virus ?
Normally the child will have symptoms of loose motions with mild fever. Older children and adults may have vomiting and nausea. Rarely there may be sore throat, runny nose and nose block. With dehydration there may be irritability and drowsiness.

How is the diagnosis of Rota virus made ?
A suspicion of rotavirus infection can be made on clinical grounds. However the diagnosis of rota virus can be established by isolating the virus from the stool and examining it under a special microscope called as electron microscope. Other tests such as ELISA for rotavirus can also be used to diagnose Rotavirus infection.

What are the complications of Rotavirus infection ?
Rota virus infection lasts for 3 to 9 days and this disease is self-limiting.

What is the treatment for Rota virus ?
Treatment is fluid replacement to prevent dehydration.

How can Rota virus disease be prevented ?
Since rotavirus comes due to consumption of contaminated water and food, it is very important people consume cooked food and boiled drinking water and maintain better personal hygiene level.

Are there any vaccines to prevent Rota virus disease ?
A liquid that will be given in three doses to babies is now available to prevent rotavirus infection.



Contributor Information and Disclosures Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India


First Created : 5/7/2001
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