Rotavirus is one type of virus that causes diarrhea, especially in young children. Infection is caused by group A rotaviruses, which are wheel-shaped viruses. . Rotavirus diarrhea usually lasts from 4 to 6 days, but may last longer and cause intermittent diarrhea in children who have compromised immune systems. Rotavirus infection usually occurs during the winter months. Some children have no symptoms of rotavirus infection while others may have severe vomiting , watery diarrhea, and fever. In some instances, there may also be a cough or runny nose. Rotavirus infections are responsible for approximately 3 million cases of diarrhea and 55,000 hospitalizations for diarrhea and dehydration in children under 5 years old each year in the United States. Although these infections cause relatively few deaths in the United States, diarrhea caused by rotavirus results in more than half a million deaths worldwide every year. Rotavirus infection is very contagious. Viral Gastroenteritis is caused by a variety of agents. Noroviruses, adnenoviruses, astroviruses and many others may be responsible for diarrhea.
This is especially true in developing countries, where nutrition and health care are not optimal. Rotavirus spreads very easily. The virus is transmitted by hand-to-mouth contact with stool from an infected person. The virus can be passed from one person to another by touching a hand contaminated by the virus. The virus can also be transmitted by merely touching a surface or object that has been contaminated by an infected person. Children with a rotavirus infection have fever, nausea, and vomiting, which are often followed by abdominal cramps and frequent, watery diarrhea. Children who are infected may also have a cough and runny nose. The seriousness of infection generally decreases with the number of infections. First infections tend to be the most severe. Some children who become dehydrated need to have fluids replaced through a vein (intravenously) in the hospital. Children can become infected if they put their fingers in their mouths after touching something that has been contaminated by the stool of an infected person.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in children in the United States. Rotavirus accounts for more than 500,000 physician visits and approximately 50,000 hospitalizations each year among children less than 5 years of age. Rotavirus is a non-enveloped virus of the family Reoviridae. It derives its name from its wheel like appearance when viewed under an electron microscope, from the latin rota, meaning wheel. Rotavirus can infect people of all ages, as well as many other animals, however, in humans its primary targets are infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, as is seen in AIDS. It is a seasonal disease in the United States, with most of the disease occurring in the winter and spring. Rotaviruses are transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Only 10 to 100 infectious virus particles are needed to cause infection.
Rotavirus Diarrhea Treatment Tips
1. Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating.
2. Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk.
3. Wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods.
4. Avoid getting fluid from hot dog packages on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces.
5. Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, and Camembert, blue-veined cheeses.
6. Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable pâtés and meat spreads may be eaten.
7. Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is contained in acooked dish, such as a casserole.
8. Fruit juices and soft drinks can make diarrhea worse and should be avoided.