Moms Uninformed About Rotavirus Infection
A survey of 600 U.S. mothers with children under the age three revealed that over 70% of mothers have read or heard little or nothing about rotavirus infection, the most common cause of diarrhea in young children throughout the world. Almost all children have had multiple rotavirus infections by the time they enter kindergarten. While the illness is normally self-limited and does not require special treatment, complications and even death can result from severe dehydrationthat can occur with rotavirus illness when supportive treatment (rehydration) is not given. Rotavirus infection is responsible for an estimated 500,000 visits to doctor's offices and 160,000 emergency-room visits among children each year in the U.S.
Rotavirus symptoms include:
- vomiting, and
- watery diarrhea.
Abdominal painmay also occur, and infected children may have profuse watery diarrhea up to several times per day. Symptoms can last from three to nine days. Immunity from repeated infection is incomplete after a rotavirus infection, but repeated infections tend to be less severe than the original infection.
Rotavirus infection is highly contagious. The primary mode of transmission of rotavirus is the passage of the virus in stool to the mouth of another child, known as a fecal-oral route of transmission. The virus can live for hours on hands and even longer on hard surfaces. Since the virus is so prevalent, it is very difficult or even impossible to prevent your child from acquiring a rotavirus infection.