Rotavirus causes diarrhea in children

Special attention should be paid to prevent dehydration

Bina Neupane

November 11, 2022


Rotavirus causes diarrhea in children

KATHMANDU: With the increase in cold weather, many problems have appeared in children. The cases of ‘cold diarrhea’ in children are increasing of late.

In this context, Khabarhub’s Bina Neupane approached senior pediatrician Dr. Uma Gurung to talk about the status of rotavirus in Nepal, and the preventive measures adopted so far. Excerpts:

The cases of cold diarrhea are increasing of late. How are you handling it?

Nowadays children have diarrhea along with fever and cold. In that case, we give two doses of injection for 45 days.

However, even when the injection is given, the virus is transmitted through our food, water, and environment. This is the visible rotavirus. Rotavirus initially causes the child to vomit, followed by diarrhea.

Antibiotics will not work for this. If you have a small child, breast milk should be fed in abundance.

If you have a big child, you should feed them lentil juice, one packet of vital water in two liters of water, and the liquids in plenty.

It lasts about five days and then goes away on its own. Like other viral bacteria, it cannot be cured with medicine. So provided enough care is taken at home, there is no need to rush to the hospital.

Why is the medication ineffective in this case?

If it is something else, bacterial, the medicine works. However, as it is viral, it cannot be cured by medicine. What can be added to it is an enzyme. The method of treatment is to prevent dehydration.

Which age group is most vulnerable to this disease?

This is more common in 9 to 10 years old. However, diarrhea is more common in young children.

In case of cold diarrhea, when should one treat the patient at home and when to rush to the hospital?

As long as the child is drinking water well, urinating well and maintaining adequate body fluids, there is no need to go to the hospital.

If the child’s eyes are completely swollen, the skin is wrinkled, the face is swollen, in that case, it should not be kept at home, and rushed to the hospital.

How long does it take to recover after treatment?

If a child gets cold due to diarrhea, the parents panic, and take the child to the hospital.

Earlier, people used to consult the sorcerer or the witch doctor and come late, but now people come very early to dread they might have got a virus.

When the child shows the symptoms of cold diarrhea, first, it should be fed soft things, mainly water, and fruit juice.

In such cases, when they come to the hospital, we give them some medicine. If the child’s condition is noticed deteriorating, we get the child admitted and provide saline water through an IV line. It heals in about five days.

What is the risk of not reaching the hospital in time?

There is a risk when there is no hospital close to the village. In that case, you should give enough liquid, semi-fluids, and soft things. When nothing is available, they should be given plain water.

What should you pay attention to avoid such a problem?

Don’t feed children too much outside food, chocolate cheese balls. Both the parents and the school should ensure that the children are not drinking impure water. One should serve well-cooked home-cooked meals.

Today’s children prefer to eat food outside the home, so what should the family do?

From an early age, do not feed the child anything outside, and do not expose the child to cell phones excessively.

Even during the meal, keep reminding them that one should not eat outside food from an early age. They (the children) should be given clean and hygienic food at home.

What kind of food should one give to young children?

For the first 6 months, the baby should be fed breast milk. After 6 months, it should be given other foods like dal rice, bread, green vegetables, eggs, etc. When making dal, add greens, and rice and feed it with lettuce.

Avoid giving outside as much as possible. We grew up eating pulses, corn, and soybeans. Now we are doctors.

We have survived. Why serve pizza to the children now? An occasional feeding of outside food is ok, but no fattening drugs.

Give meat and fish, and feed one egg a day. People are very attracted by the taste of Ajinomoto, the monosodium glutamate, and do not eat anything at home.

I would like to request the guardians not to give the children mobile phones as exposure to cell phones is likely to cause many hazards later.