Rotavirus Diarrhea in Children and Vaccine

Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea in children. Worldwide, rotavirus is estimated to cause >111 million cases of diarrhea annually in children younger than 5 yr. Rotaviruses are classified into seven groups (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G) among which group A (mostly), group B and occasionally group C cause human infection. Rotavirus infection is most common during winter months in temperate climates (as in Bangladesh). Disease tends to be most severe in babies 4-36 months of age. Infants younger than 3 months are relatively protected by inherited immunity from mother and breast-feeding. Rotavirus spread efficiently via contaminated water and food, and outbreaks are common in children’s hospitals and child-care centers. Rotavirus infection begins with mild to moderate fever as well as vomiting, followed by frequent, watery stools which often continue for 5-7 days. Stool contains no blood and dehydration may develop rapidly. Avoiding and treating dehydration and providing adequate nutrition are the main goals in treatment of rotavirus diarrhoea. There is no routine role for antiviral or antibiotics drug treatment. Probiotic may have some benefits only in mild cases and not in dehydrating disease. ORS is enough for mild to moderate dehydration but severe dehydration requires immediate intravenous therapy after hospitalization. Oral rehydration solution available in our country (ORS by SMC) is appropriate for treating mild to moderate dehydration. Breast-feeding should be continued during diarrhea and rehydration. Normal age appropriate diet is also encouraged. Our parents are particularly concerned about rotavirus vaccine. The pentavalent vaccine (Rota Teq) is given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. The 1st dose should be administered between 6 and 12 week of age, with all 3 doses completed by 32 week of age. The monovalent vaccine (Rotarix) is administered as 2 oral doses at 6 and 10 week. There should be at least 4 weeks interval between two doses and the doses should be completed by 24 weeks of age. Rotavirus vaccine can be given safely along with other EPI vaccine. In Bangladesh, monovalent vaccine is commonly used. You can choose any one vaccine for your kids or can rely on your doctor’s choice.

Author Info

Dr. M. M. Haque

No Comments

Post a Comment