Beat That Tummy Bug
Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhoeal hospitalisations among children, but good personal hygiene and vaccination can protect your little one from infection2,5.
It’s frustrating to see your baby in discomfort or pain and not know exactly why your child is crying. When Baby’s suffering is accompanied by diarrhoea, vomiting and a fever, it can be even harder to tell what’s going on inside the body. If Baby exhibits all these symptoms – severe watery diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and a fever of 39.4 deg C or higher – it is likely that your child has rotavirus1, Rotavirus symptoms may persist up to seven days, and infants aged three to 24 months are more likely to suffer severe infections. In Singapore, 40 per cent of diarrhoeal cases are due to rotavirus2.
HOW ROTAVIRUS SPREADS
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, rotavirus spreads easily among infants and young children. Children suffering from this disease can become dehydrated and may require hospitalisation3.
Rotavirus infection is highly contagious and can spread from person to person via contaminated surfaces, hands and objects, including toys. The virus enters the body through the mouth and infects the intestinal lining4, Because rotavirus is resistant in nature, it can stay alive on surfaces for days. This means that the virus can spread from person to person very easily in places like the home and daycare centres6.
There is no specific medication to treat the rotavirus infection. Treatment generally consists of increased oral fluid intake to prevent dehydration. Severe cases of dehydration may require hospitalisation5.
But you can protect Baby from this dreadful condition. Good personal hygiene such as hand washing is important in controlling the spread of this infection. However, vaccination is the best method for prevention against rotavirus infection in infants and young children. Rotavirus vaccines prevent diarrhoea and vomiting caused by rotavirus only. They do not prevent diarrhoea and vomiting caused by other germs5. To find out if your baby needs to be vaccinated against rotavirus, speak to a doctor.
Rotavirus can easily be transmitted from children to caregivers.
One symptom to watch out for is a severe watery diarrhoea.