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All Things Finseth » Reed’s Rotavirus

All Things Finseth

February 9, 2004

Reed’s Rotavirus

Filed under: Family News — Jaime @ 9:53 pm

Reed is at home and feeling much better! For those of you who don’t know, we had to take him in to the hospital because he was getting dehydrated. The Doctor thinks he had ROTO Virus.

We went in on Friday afternoon, and they hooked him up to an I.V. He was pale and his skin had a yellowish tint. He lost about 1.5lbs during the week. We thought he was on the mend on Thursday, but that night he woke up with really bad stomach cramps. Jaime took him to see the Doc on Friday afternoon, and they decided to admit him.

He did really well at the Hospital. It was really sad to see him comeback after getting his I.V. He looked at us and started crying ;(

Read more about the Roto Virus below, Click here to see Reed at the hospital >>

WHAT IS ROTAVIRAL GASTROENTERITIS?

Rotaviral Gastroenteritis is an infection of the intestinal tract caused by Rotavirus. This disease is the one of the most common causes of diarrhea in children, and is an important cause of acute intestinal infection in children attending child care.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Within 1 to 3 days of exposure to Rotavirus, vomiting occurs followed by an episode of watery diarrhea. The period of vomiting usually lasts for about 3 days, and the diarrheal phase can last anywhere from 3 to 8 days. These symptoms are frequently accompanied by fever and abdominal pain. Without adequate fluid replacement, severe body fluid loss will occur, which may result in death.

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM AND HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?

Most human infections involving Rotavirus result from contact with other infected humans. Rotavirus in animals occur in many species, but transmission from animals to humans has not been documented.

Rotavirus may also be found in sewage contaminated waters. Foods harvested from these waters, or irrigated with these waters, and eaten raw may result in Rotaviral Gastroenteritis in both adults and children. The number of virus particles necessary to cause infection is low, and the disease is easily spread by person-to-person contact through hand-to-mouth transfer of the Rotavirus from the feces of an infected individual. Objects such as toys or food may easily become contaminated by an infected person if hands are not washed after using the toilet.

CAN THE DISEASE BE TREATED?

Rotaviral Gastroenteritis cannot be treated. Cases involving severe diarrhea require that body fluids and electrolytes be replaced to prevent dehydration. Infection generally gives a person long term immunity to the disease.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT ROTAVIRAL GASTROENTERITIS?

Hands should be thoroughly washed with plenty of soap and hot water after using the toilet, or changing children’s diapers, and always before handling or eating food. Children especially must be encouraged to wash their hands and clean under their fingernails. Ensure that all foods consumed raw are thoroughly washed first. Meats and poultry should be cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 75º Celsius (165ºF). Travellers to areas with inadequate sanitary facilities should only eat cooked foods, served hot. Avoid the consumption of ice, salads, and raw vegetables when traveling in these areas. Eat only raw fruits that have been thoroughly washed and can be peeled.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER CONCERNS?

Since the Rotavirus is passed in the feces, only people with active diarrhea who are unable to control their bowel habits (for example: infants, young children, certain handicapped individuals, etc.) should be isolated. Most infected people may return to work or school when their stools become formed provided that they carefully wash their hands after toilet visits. Food handlers, children in day care centres, and health care workers must obtain the approval of the local Health Authority before returning to their routine activities.

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