Diarrhea is one of them diseases that attack the digestive system, where this disease is still commonly found in Indonesian society.
Anyone can suffer from this one disease, be it adults or small children. Well, one of the biggest causes of diarrhea in children is rotavirus. Rotavirus is a virus that infects the intestines. In fact, in general diarrhea that occurs in children and babies around the world is caused by this one virus. Most of 5 year old children have been infected by this one virus. Where this condition usually occurs in developing countries with less than optimal levels of nutrition and the amount of health care.
In 2006 a vaccine was discovered, before the discovery of the rotavirus vaccine, it had caused child deaths each year with a death rate of half a million. You can be aware of this one virus infection in infants and children aged 4-24 months with vaccines as an effort to prevent.
What Are the Symptoms Caused by Rotavirus?
The initial signs of a child being infected with rotavirus are fever and vomiting. After that, it will be followed by diarrhea which lasts for approximately 3-8 days. Symptoms that appear in adults are not seen in general or are even mild and do not exist at all. Not only that, this one viral infection will also cause pain around the stomach. As a parent you should also be aware of the symptoms of dehydration caused by the rotavirus.
So what are the symptoms? Below are the symptoms of dehydration due to rotavirus.
- Feeling excessive thirst
- Obstructed bowel movements for 12 hours or more
- The body feels weak or weak
- The skin becomes dry or cold
- The eyes become sunken
- Dry mouth and eyes, even when crying does not shed tears
If a patient experiences acute diarrhea, he must immediately be given action so that it is not dangerous. If additional symptoms occur in your child such as diarrhea accompanied by blood, vomiting continuously for 3 hours and fever above 39.5 Celsius, then you must immediately take your child to the doctor.
Whereas for adults, contact the doctor if they experience additional symptoms as below:
- Cannot drink for approximately 24 hours
- Vomiting continuously between 1-2 days
- Experiencing vomiting blood
- Has a high fever with a temperature above 39.4 Celsius
- When defecating, blood is found in the stool
What Causes and What is Rotavirus Transmission Like?
Rotavirus, which is known to cause diarrhea in children, can be transmitted through the anus to the mouth. Where this virus can last for ten days after the symptoms that are felt subside in the patient or sufferer. During this period, the virus is highly contagious and spreads to children when it comes into contact by hand and mouth. Children will start getting infected when they touch objects that have been contaminated, including food, drink or other things.
In fact, it is known that this rotavirus infection can occur and spread very quickly in children’s hospitals or day care centers. Even the workers in this place can be the cause of the spread of this virus if they do not maintain cleanliness such as washing their hands after activities, especially after returning from the bathroom, after changing a baby’s diaper, or after eating.
How to Diagnose Rotavirus
To understand and pay attention to the symptoms of rotavirus as best as possible, doctors will usually ask some questions that will be used as a reference. For example, “when did the symptoms start?”, “Are they frequent or alternating?”. Any description of the severity for the doctor will usually be additional material to consider. Finally, the doctor will ask if the symptoms are reduced or are getting worse, which is adjusted to the patient’s condition.
In addition to asking a few questions and conducting a series of physical examinations, the doctor will usually perform other tests such as urine tests and blood tests, this is done to find out whether the cause of diarrhea is caused by bacteria or rotavius. If the cause of diarrhea in children is caused by bacteria and not due to rotavirus, then the doctor will not prescribe or give antibiotics.
If you want more information about rotavirus infection and how to treat it, then you can consult a general practitioner, infectious disease specialist, or a gastroenterologist.
How is rotavirus treated?
Actually, to treat rotavirus infection there is no specific drug that must be given to sufferers. However, the most important treatment is to prevent dehydration.
Dehydration that is still in a mild stage that occurs in children and adults can be treated at home by increasing the intake of fluids, including rehydration fluids. Patients who are cared for at home are advised to always stay at home until their health returns, this is done so that people around them are not infected.
Children who experience mild diarrhea should eat food as usual or normally. However, things to note are avoiding soft drinks or fruit juices to prevent diarrhea from getting worse. Before your child is 3 years old, it would be better if you don’t stop breastfeeding, because breast milk can help prevent diarrhea from getting worse. If your child consumes formula milk, then you do not need to dilute the formula milk. You can also give oral dehydration fluids that have been previously recommended by your doctor.
If your child is vomiting, then you can give food and fluids in small portions or in small amounts but with more frequency. To calm children over three years of age, you can give them soft and plain foods such as bread and saltine biscuits. You also have to pay attention to your child’s food intake, as much as possible avoid foods that contain high milk, fat and sugar.
Children with acute diarrhea usually do not need minerals found in fluids or ordinary drinks. Therefore, you should consult your doctor first before deciding to give oral rehydration fluids, other treatment methods, or other medicines.
As a parent you must also ensure that the diapers used by your child are always clean and that the child wears comfortable clothes. When changing diapers, you can use a warm, wet cloth and a rash-preventing cream or product. If necessary, you can use running water to clean hard-to-reach areas. Make sure your child gets a good time and enough to rest.
As for adults who experience diarrhea and vomiting, it is recommended to avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other intake that can upset the stomach.
Severe dehydration is one of the main complications of diarrhea. Well, giving intravenous fluids at home is very necessary for patients who experience severe dehydrated diarrhea. If you do not get proper treatment, it is feared that it will threaten the sufferer’s life.
Everyone must act to stop the spread of rotavirus, adopting a healthy and clean lifestyle which is hoped to help overcome it all.