Acute diarrhea caused by Rotavirus, what should parents know?

Acute diarrhea caused by Rotavirus usually has an acute onset, manifesting in children with continuous vomiting and frequent watery diarrhea (usually more than 10 times), up to several dozen times a day, causing severe dehydration, which is a risk. of hypovolemic shock, possibly fatal.

Rotavirus is one of the major causes of severe and life-threatening diarrhea in children under 2 years of age. The disease usually occurs seasonally, focusing on winter. Rotavirus has 4 pathogenic serotypes. When infected with one type, the body only responds to diarrhea with that one type and the child may still have other types. 1/3 of children under 2 years old have at least 1 episode of rotavirus diarrhea, which also accounts for 50% - 65% of acute diarrhea in hospitalized children.

What are the clinical manifestations of rotavirus diarrhea?

Continuous vomiting: This is a manifestation of the onset of the disease, the child often vomits repeatedly or several times in the first day, making the child lose water and electrolytes. Dehydration can range from mild to severe: the child is alert or lethargic, and worse, comatose. Children who are awake are often thirsty, show eagerness to drink water, hold a spoon or cup of water, or cry when they stop giving them water. If dehydration is severe, the child can no longer drink water. Other symptoms of dehydration such as: sunken eyes, little or no tears, dry mouth and tongue, skin pinching that disappears slowly or very slowly (over 2 seconds); Children with concave anterior fontanel compared to children with fontanel…

Loose stools: Children often have watery stools many times (> 10 times/day), sour smell, stools may have mucus if co-infected with bacteria.

Other manifestations: In some cases, children may have moderate to high fever of 39 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius, in severe cases, they may have convulsions due to high fever or severe electrolyte disturbances. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, cough and runny nose may also appear.

How is the disease diagnosed?

Rapid diagnostic method for virus or antigen detection; diagnostic methods to detect viral RNA; serological diagnostic methods. In addition, hospitalized patients also need to do more blood tests to check electrolytes, white blood cells, and fresh stool examinations...

What are the treatment methods when children have acute diarrhea caused by Rotavirus?

Sick children with mild symptoms can be treated as outpatients, but they need to adhere to the following principles: oral rehydration and electrolyte replacement such as oresol, salted porridge, fruit juice...; increase breastfeeding with children under 6 months old; ensure adequate nutrition for children with a diet full of protein, sugar, fat and green vegetables; foods should be processed in liquid, soft and easily digestible form and can be divided into more meals a day. Absolutely do not arbitrarily use antibiotics and antidiarrheal drugs; Drink fizzy industrial drinks or feed your child easily digestible foods. The use of preventive vaccines is also one of the ways to limit the disease in children as well as reduce the severity of the disease

When should parents take their child to the hospital?

- When the child vomits continuously, the electrolytes cannot be replaced by oral administration

- Children with underlying medical conditions; young lethargic, lethargic, tired a lot

- The child has a high fever or has a convulsion

- Children passing watery stools many times, continuously or have other unusual signs ...

Preventive measures 

- Breastfeeding should be encouraged: exclusively breast-feeding for the first 6 months, then giving additional food, should ensure hygiene of breast milk and breast during lactation.

- It is necessary to improve the habit of weaning for children: the children are given solid foods at the right time, ensuring enough nutrient groups.

- Use clean water for sanitation and drinking. Wash hands with soap after going out, changing diapers for children, before preparing food, feeding children, taking care of children.

- Use hygienic latrines and safely handle the stools of young children with diarrhea.


Source: 108 Military Central Hospital