The rotavirus is a form of infection common among children below 5 years of age. It is highly transmittable and generally affects young children. Adults can also acquire the infection but less severe.
The rotavirus generally settles on its own over time. Since dehydration is a concern, knowing when to seek medical attention is vital in preventing any dangerous complications.
What are the signs?
The indications of rotavirus are quite noticeable among children. The signs typically manifest within 2 days after exposure to the virus.
Diarrhea is the most common indication of rotavirus. The other symptoms that might arise include:
- Black or tarry stools
- Severe fatigue
- High fever
- Stools with pus or blood
- Abdominal pain
Remember that dehydration is a biggest health issue among children. This age group is prone to the loss of electrolytes from diarrhea and vomiting due to their smaller body weight. The child should be carefully monitored for signs of dehydration such as:
- Cool skin
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Lack of tears when crying
- Reducing urine output
Management of rotavirus
The objective of treatment is to keep the body hydrated and comfortable as the body eliminates the virus. Some of the measures that can help include:
- Increase the intake of fluids
- Provide broth-based soup
- Provide the child with Pedialyte or other fluids containing electrolytes
- Eat a diet that includes bland foods such as white toast
- Avoid fatty or sugary foods since these can worsen diarrhea
Call for emergency assistance if the child has the following:
- Continuous vomiting
- Fever of 104 degrees F or higher
- Frequent episodes of diarrhea for 24 hours or longer
- Unresponsiveness or signs of lethargy
It is important to note that hospitalization is only needed for cases that results to severe dehydration, especially among children. The doctor will administer intravenous fluids to prevent any dangerous complications from developing.