Rotavirus causes an intestinal infection (or gastroenteritis) and its most frequent complication is dehydration, which can generate the need for hospitalization and even death, according to the Ministry of Health of the Nation.
Also it is highly contagiousso any child can get sick, regardless of their socioeconomic status, while rotavirus can survive for several hours on hands and for days on solid surfaces, such as countertops, handrails or utensils.
the main road contagion is fecal-oral and can be spread from person to person, when one of them, who is healthy, touches particles of fecal matter from the one infected with the virus and, without realizing it, puts them in her mouth (for not having washed her hands properly). Those who suffer from the disease maintain their infectious power in the fecal matter for a week.
Also It can be spread by consuming water or food contaminated with the virus. or by coming into contact with surfaces where the virus persists (a diaper, a toy, bedding, etc.).
More than a hundred weekly cases in Rosario
The Víctor J. Vilela Children’s Hospital receives around 1,400 weekly consultations for different reasons, through its guard, but a hundred correspond to gastrointestinal symptoms which can include diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, and which affect children more severely.
To that number of babies, we must add those who receive care in municipal and provincial health centers, and also in the private sector.
“At the moment, the number of consultations is divided between respiratory problems and Gastrointestinal disorders”, said Aníbal Krivoy, in charge of the Emergency Center of the Children’s Sanatorium, of Grupo Oroño, in dialogue with La Capital.
For her part, Emilse Ferrari, coordinator of the pediatric area of Emergencies and Urgencies of Rosario (Ecco), commented that in home care services, around 30% of the calls correspond to consultations by diarrhea and vomiting: “They are usually mild cases, which can be treated with diet and without hospitalization. But sometimes in babies it can require another type of care, ”he stressed.
What are the symptoms of rotavirus
It manifests as a gastroenteritis of 3 to 8 days duration, with vomiting, abundant watery diarrhea (up to 20 times per day), fever and abdominal pain. In Argentina, the Surveillance Program of the Ministry of Health recorded that 42% of hospitalizations for diarrhea in children under 3 years of age are due to rotavirus.
read also Stomach viruses debut in the first year of kindergarten
- Prevention it is given mainly by the vaccine that protects against rotavirus diarrhea and its complications. In Argentina, it has been included in the official calendar since 2015 and is therefore compulsory and free.
- The vaccine It is indicated for children at 2 months of age, the first dose, and the second at 4 months, while the maximum age for the administration of the first dose is 14 weeks and the second 24 weeks of life.