What is dangerous?
Rotavirus is an infection that causes viral gastroenteritis in children. People call it the intestinal or gastric flu, because its outbreaks pass simultaneously with the usual flu, and it is just as easy to catch it. He is not afraid of cold, – by the way, as well as ordinary disinfectants, including bleach; It withstands the action of ether, chloroform and ultrasound. The period from January to March for this si is the most intense “working season”: he loves the cold and slush.
The term rotavirus was approved in 1979 by WHO experts. The virus got its name due to the similarity with the wheel (rota – “wheel”, Latin). The share of rotavirus infection among all acute intestinal infections reaches 73%. And for reproduction, these little enemies just need to get into the upper section of the small intestine.
In order for everyone around them to get sick, it is enough for the carrier of infection to walk a little with dirty hands after washing the toilet, touching door handles, handrails, etc. Therefore, sometimes a rotavirus infection is called “dirty hands disease”. But the cunning of the virus is that it can be transmitted in another way – airborne. It is worth the patient to sneeze – the company will pick up a large and noisy one: the probability of getting sick when in contact with the virus carrier varies from 8 to 50%.
How to recognize?
The incubation period lasts a minimum of 15 hours, and may be delayed for 2-3 days. But the majority of children in kindergarten who are ill take a potty on the first day after infection. The general condition of the child deteriorates, indigestion begins – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping abdominal pain.
Rotavirus has a very characteristic stool – rich, watery and frothy yellow or yellow-green, and on the second or third day it is gray-yellow. In patients with a mild course of the disease, the stool may be mushy. Viruses disrupt the structure of the mucous membrane of the small intestine, leading to a deterioration in the absorption of carbohydrates and other nutrients, as well as an increase in the so-called osmotic pressure in the intestine. As a result, excess water enters from the tissues into the intestinal lumen and the stool becomes liquefied.
Perhaps a sharp rise in temperature and headache. In children of the first year of life, one can observe “marble” skin pattern. Many (but not all) have a runny nose, redness in the throat, pain when swallowing. In the acute period, there is no appetite, there is a breakdown. Typically, the district pediatrician determines the disease by external signs, but it is better to pass a stool test for the presence of rotavirus.
In 70% of children, the isolation of pathogens continues from 4 to 20 days after the first symptoms are detected. But on the background of immunodeficiency disease can last up to a month. The medical literature describes cases of mild diarrhea with the release of rotavirus for one year. Therefore, even if the baby feels well after a few days, it is still too early for him to leave for kindergarten – he will have to keep quarantine for at least a couple of weeks.
How to fight?
Rotavirus is not much different from other viral infections: as a rule, it ends on its own, without any specific treatment with antiviral drugs. The doctor can prescribe interferons and immune drugs to increase the body’s resistance, prescribe syrups or tablets with paracetamol to reduce the temperature and relieve inflammation.
The main thing in case of infection is to stop the diarrhea, since it is dehydration – the most dangerous consequence of this “sore”. To replenish lost fluid, be sure to drink an acid-base drink. Water is well absorbed through the skin, so they recommend warm baths and showers. With severe vomiting and diarrhea, you need to put the child in the bath at least three times a day for 15-20 minutes. If the baby does not want to sit in the bath or he does not have the strength, then you should at least pour it out of the shower, but this should be done more often – 6-7 times a day. If the baby is dehydrated, you will immediately notice this: the skin will become dry, inelastic; eyes and spring will fall; facial features will sharpen; the baby will begin to experience dizziness, thirst, dry mouth.
If drowsiness and lethargy are added to the listed symptoms, immediately call an ambulance.
Treatment should take place against the backdrop of a strict diet, which is based on fermented milk products, liquid porridge on the water, white crackers and strong unsweetened tea. But whole milk should be abandoned flatly: it is contraindicated in this case.
The main controversy is the question of what to do with breastfed babies – is it possible to wean off? Recently, doctors are inclined to believe that the mother’s milk protects the virus from the virus, therefore it is possible and necessary to feed the sick baby’s breasts, and on demand it will help to cope with the virus with the help of maternal antibodies, in addition to compensate for the loss of fluid infancy is extremely dangerous. From the menu of older children, you should also exclude black bread, sugar, raw vegetables and fruits. It is better to feed often and in small portions. Rough, peristalsis-enhancing intestines, food and sweet fruit juices that increase gas formation should be avoided. After the crisis has passed, the child is prescribed enzyme preparations and probiotics for 10 days – this stabilizes the processes in the gastrointestinal tract.
Is it possible to prevent?
In fact, this “terminator” is afraid of two things: boiling and water with soap. Therefore, always boil water for children, especially when traveling. And from a young age, teach your child to wash their hands with soap and water after each use of the toilet, after a walk, and before eating. And do not forget about this good habit yourself.
A sick child should be isolated from other children, provided with personal dishes and a towel, as well as a personalized pot, which doctors recommend treating with a 95% ethanol solution. Viruses attack weak people, so in the cold season, support the baby’s body with vitamins and drugs that strengthen the immune system.
Resistance to infections enhances a varied and high-quality diet, walks in the fresh air and the observance of the daily regimen.
There are two clinical trials in Europe and the USA: both are taken orally and contain a weakened live virus. Ask your pediatrician if they have this vaccine.
The probability of re-infection in the first year of life is about 30%. By the age of two, almost 70% of children get sick twice, 40% – three times, and 20% – four times. However, those who are already sick, the subsequent infection is easier to carry.
Among children, there are also healthy virus carriers – up to 9%. Most of them are newborns, more often those who are breastfed. Adults rotavirus infects much less, and we suffer the disease more easily.
Unlike influenza and other respiratory viruses, to which, as a rule, temporary immunity is developed, after viral diarrhea, immunity is unstable – the same infection can be picked up several times per season. Frequent infection threatens with chronic bowel disease.