Rotavirus: signs and treatment
Rotavirus is a virus of the genus Rotavirus that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines, as well as the upper respiratory tract. Mostly small children fall ill, from 1.5 to 5 years. Adults can become infected by a sick child while caring for them. Often outbreaks of intestinal infection are observed in kindergartens and in the family.
How to get infected with rotavirus
Rotavirus is a highly contagious infection. It is transmitted through dirty hands or objects (toys, furniture, door handles), where, in turn, the rotavirus gets from feces (through unwashed hands) or from the patient’s saliva and snot. The source of infection can be a carrier of the virus, for example, an adult whose disease is erased and who does not suspect it. You can also get infected through unboiled water and food, especially milk and fermented milk products, if they were prepared by a patient or carrier and they were not boiled: rotavirus can be stored in a refrigerator for a long time, and chlorination of water does not kill it. It is still not known for certain whether rotavirus is transmitted by airborne droplets.
The infectious period lasts from the first symptoms of infection to the complete recovery of the patient, which is confirmed by a negative company test. 3-5 days of illness, when the maximum number of viruses are excreted with feces, are especially dangerous in terms of transmission.
How does rotavirus manifest
The main symptoms of rotavirus infection in children are:
vomiting – it can occur 2-3 times or more often;
when the child is given a drink of water, he begins to vomit;
diarrhea yellow or dark brown in color with an unpleasant odor, possibly with mucus. The frequency of stools can be different: from 1-2 times more often than usual, up to 5-10 times a day. Liquid stool lasts 3-5 days, then (subject to diet) is stopped;
spastic abdominal pain, usually near the navel, pain decreases after taking antispasmodics and defecation;
increased body temperature, not amenable to antipyretic drugs;
lethargy, drowsiness, lack of appetite, which is the result of severe intoxication.
Rotavirus infection in children can start in different ways. In one case, a child first appears: a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, conjunctivitis, while the temperature remains normal. Intestinal symptoms appear later. In other cases, the disease begins with vomiting and diarrhea. And in very young children, the first signs of intoxication become noticeable: the child is sluggish or, conversely, excited, cries, does not eat, bends his legs to his stomach. Manifestations of intestinal infection develop later.
The child recovers, as a rule, on the 4th-7th day, but it is quite possible that the disease will return, the so-called second wave, in which the main manifestations of the infection occur again. And only after receiving a negative result for the company test, we can talk about the final recovery.
In adults, rotavirus infection is much easier. In 90% of cases, symptoms are completely absent. Possible weakness, decreased appetite, fever. Diarrhea with a frequency of less than 5 times lasts 1-2 days, there may not be vomiting at all, or it is single. Symptoms of inflammation of the upper respiratory tract may also be absent or manifest in a weak form. Nevertheless, a person can infect others, and it is especially dangerous for children.
How to treat rotavirus infection
As with other viruses, specific therapy for this infection is not available. To combat rotavirus, interferon preparations are used to strengthen the body’s own defenses.
With diarrhea and vomiting, the child’s body is dehydrated, so be sure to replenish these fluid losses – this is the main part of treatment with rotavirus. In addition, it is necessary to provide the child with fluid to maintain kidney function and fight the virus. It is recommended that the baby be given fluid every 10 minutes. You need to start with a teaspoon, if the baby does not vomit for an hour, slightly increase the amount of drink, then a little more. But this must be done gradually. You can give just water or compote from dried fruits, a decoction of chamomile, or you can use special solutions to restore the water-acid balance. If, even after the smallest portion of the liquid, vomiting occurs in the child, you must immediately take the child to the hospital so that he will be given a dropper.
To cleanse the body of the toxic waste products of rotavirus, sorbents are used that absorb all toxins from the intestines – this is also an essential part of treatment.
If the child’s body temperature rises above 38.4 ° C, give antipyretic drugs. It is also recommended to wipe the baby with a solution of water with alcohol in a ratio of 1: 1. In no case should you give the child an infection with aspirin and other drugs with acetylsalicylic acid – this is deadly.
Abdominal pain can be relieved or reduced with antispasmodics.
To restore normal intestinal microflora, it is necessary to give the child probiotics.