Rotavirus in children. Causes, symptoms and how to prevent

Published At: 12 January 2020 , 10:47 AM

What is rotavirus?

Rotavirus or acute viral gastroenteritis is the official name for "intestinal flu." It has nothing to do with the flu virus and got its "popular" name due to symptoms similar to flu: fever, cough, and runny nose. Rotavirus is the second most common disease in children after a cold. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States, rotavirus infections are responsible for about 3 million cases of diarrhea and 55,000 hospitalizations from diarrhea and dehydration in children under the age of five each year.

At the age of five, every child at least once becomes ill with intestinal flu. Most often, the disease occurs in the cold months - from October to April. In Russia, the maximum incidence rates recorded in February and March.

Symptoms of rotavirus

Rotavirus affects the digestive system, so the main symptoms of the disease are vomiting and watery diarrhea. The development of the disease, as a rule, proceeds according to this scheme: the first few hours of the child are concerned about nausea and mild abdominal pain, then vomiting begins.

Often the disease is accompanied by fever, but its primary manifestation is watery diarrhea. The latter can be repeated 4-5 times a day, but in severe cases, it can reach 15-20 times. In 60–70% of patients with rotavirus infection, catarrhal phenomena from the upper respiratory tract are observed: sore throat, sore throat, nasal congestion, cough.

The average duration of the disease is about a week, but in children, it can reach 10-14 days. The main danger of rotavirus for a child is dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea. The rapid loss of fluid and electrolytes in children explained by several factors: the imperfection of adaptive mechanisms of the body, significant losses of fluid with sweat and breathing, physiological immaturity of detoxification organs.

Symptoms of dehydration with rotavirus

• Little or no tears during crying.

• Dry mouth or chapped lips.

• Dizziness, headaches, or muscle pain in older children.

• Urine is dark yellow (instead of light or bright).

• Weight loss, drowsiness, and lethargy.

Signs of dehydration are an excellent reason to seek medical help. If the child fails to adequately solder, he has shown an intravenous drip infusion.

How to prevent dehydration?

Specialized saline solutions are best suited to make up for water and salt losses. However, many children refuse to drink rehydration solutions, because some of them, frankly, are not very tasty. In this case, INVAR KIDS Baby Rehydration Agent with orange flavor will save you, which recommended for use in children from 3 years of age. He also has a very convenient form of release: 1 sachet per glass. And do not bother with liters of water and bottles.

The child should not drink much (otherwise vomiting can be provoked), but not enough (the risk of dehydration is high). Best of all - 2-3 tablespoons every five minutes. On a day, a sick child older than three years should drink 1.5-2 liters of fluid.

If you are breast-feeding, continue to feed calmly. According to Stanley Cohen, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Atlanta's Children's Digestive Health Center in Atlanta, breast milk well tolerated by sick children, and the presence of antibodies in it can help strengthen their immune system. It should be remembered that with any diarrhea or vomiting in an infant, it is urgent to consult a specialist, because the cause may lie not only in intestinal infection. But even in the case of disease, independent treatment or observation of the baby can lead to severe complications.