A BRIEF ARTICLE ON ROTAVIRUS
Rotavirus is the most common cause of inflammation of the stomach and intestines, leading to severe diarrhea in infants and children throughout the world.Most unvaccinated children become infected with rotavirus by age 3.There are different strains of rotavirus, and multiple infections by different strains may occur.Rotavirus causes the following symptoms and signs:(1)Fever (2)Vomiting
Rotavirus infection is highly contagious. The incubation period is typically about two days.Rotavirus illness typically resolves on its own after three to nine days.Two vaccines to prevent rotavirus infection are available: (1)RotaTeq
Vaccines should be completed before an infant reaches 8 months of age.
Causes of rotavirus infections :-
The rotavirus is a member of the Reoviridae family of viruses and contains ds-RNA enclosed by a double-shelled outer layer (capsid). Infection with different strains of the virus is possible, so it is common to have several separate rotavirus infections in childhood. Adults may also become infected, but the resulting illness is usually less severe than that in infants and young children.
Infants and children are most commonly infected with rotavirus. Since rotavirus infection is highly contagious, those who are around infected people are at high risk of infection. For this reason, children in group day-care settings are at risk. However, most children will become infected with rotavirus by 3 years of age.
Signs & symptoms of rotavirus infection :-
Symptoms of the disease include fever, vomiting and watery diarrhea. Abdominal pain may also occur, and infected children may have profuse watery diarrhea up to several times per day. Symptoms generally persist for 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 can be associated with severe dehydration in infants and children. Severe dehydration can lead to death in rare cases, so it is important to recognize and treat this complication of rotavirus infection.
Transmission of rotavirus :-
The primary mode of transmission of rotavirus is the passage of the virus in stool to the mouth of another child. This is known as a fecal-oral route of transmission. Children can transmit the virus when they forget to wash their hands before eating or after using the toilet. Touching a surface that has been contaminated with rotavirus and then touching the mouth area can result in infection.
There also have been cases of low levels of rotavirus in respiratory-tract secretions and other body fluids. Because the virus is stable (remains infective) in the environment, transmission can occur through ingestion of contaminated water or food and contact with contaminated surfaces. Rotavirus can survive for days on hard and dry surfaces, and it can live for hours on human hands.