The most common cause of diarrheal disease – Many babies and children often suffer from rotavirus-induced diarrhea. Especially children aged six months to 2 years are affected because their immune system can not counteract this pathogen efficiently enough.
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Rotaviruses – the disease symptoms at a glance
The infection takes place via so-called smear infections. Rotaviruses adhere very well to a variety of surfaces and thus easily get from person to person when they come into contact with infected hands, toys and other objects, such as doorknobs. Even the contact with a few viruses can lead to a strong infection. This manifests itself within a few hours or days due to symptoms such as:
- stomach pain
- Diarrhea as well
- Mucus in the stool
Both vomit and diarrhea can be very watery and are often associated with severe fluid and mineral loss. This leads to dehydration much faster in babies and children than in adults and can even be life-threatening if left untreated.
If a child suffers from severe diarrhea and vomiting for more than 12 hours, is very flabby and feverish, it is advisable to see a doctor immediately. If symptoms persist for longer than 24 hours, hospitalization is usually required.
At the hospital, the little patient is then given liquid via a nasogastric tube or an infusion until the body fights the rotavirus infection, restores the function of the gastrointestinal tract sufficiently and excretes most of the pathogens.
For minor symptoms, you can help your child recover by providing them with easily digestible and stuffing foods. Often, many children instinctively know which food is right for them and their appetite depends on the condition. High-sugar and fatty foods should be avoided as they may promote diarrhea and nausea.
Pay attention to hygiene to avoid infection
Since rotavirus is one of the most easily transmitted pathogens, thorough hygiene in case of illness is very important for the protection of the family. Even after the onset of the disease symptoms, the pathogens are excreted in the intestine for several days and weeks and can thus lead to infection.
Thorough hand washing (after diaper changing), as well as the avoidance of touching toys that had diseased children in hand, are examples of preventative hygiene measures. Disinfecting toys is also important. Use the disinfectant that works against viruses. Bed linen should be washed at least 60 degrees Celsius.
In addition to the hygiene above measures, there is now also the possibility of vaccination. Although this can not always wholly avoid a rotavirus infection, it can significantly reduce the course of the disease. Although it is recommended by many pediatricians, not taken over by all health insurance companies. If a child has rotavirus, it is not suitable for kindergarten.
- Rotaviruses are among the most common pathogens in babies and young children
- Prudent hygiene measures can prevent infection, but not stop it
- For more severe illness, inpatient stay may be necessary
- It is possible to have babies vaccinated against rotaviruses