Rotavirus infection

Health Tips

Rotavirus infection is a viral disease that affects the small intestine, accompanied by dehydration.

The causative agent of the disease is a virus from the Reoviridae family, the genus Rotavirus. This is a small particle that resembles a wheel in appearance. Rotaviruses are stable in the environment and transmitted from person to person by the fecal-oral route (through dirty hands). That is why children are most susceptible to rotavirus infection.

Once in the body viruses destroy the epithelium of the small intestine. The consequence of this is a violation of the absorption of nutrients, “too concentrated” intestinal masses enter further into the large intestine, where an abundant flow of fluid begins through the intestinal wall into the lumen of the digestive tube, just as water always strives to dilute a concentrated saline solution.

As a result, profuse diarrhea develops, the patient loses a large amount of fluid, which leads to dehydration – dehydration. Younger children are especially vulnerable to these which dehydration quickly becomes uncontrollable and can lead to death.

Symptoms of rotavirus infection

You can only get infected from a person. The severity of the disease varies greatly depending on individual characteristics, age, virus serotype and immunity. Subclinical forms of rotavirus infection are quite common, when the disease is carried by a person “on his feet”, without pronounced symptoms.

In moderate to severe cases of the disease, the incubation period is often 1-2 days. The disease begins acutely, the condition deteriorates sharply within a few hours.

There is pain in the upper abdomen and the umbilical region, nausea develops, repeated vomiting. The temperature may remain normal, but sometimes rises to high numbers.

Diarrhea joins very quickly: the stool is watery, with a pungent odor, the frequency is up to 10-15 times a day. The urge to empty the bowels is instantaneous.

Often, manifestations from the gastrointestinal tract are accompanied by symptoms of a cold: pain and redness in the throat, runny nose, congestion in the ears.

Read more: How to treat
rotavirus infection?


The main tasks are to combat fluid loss and detoxify the body.

For mild disease you can limit yourself to drinking plain water or sweet weakly brewed tea.

For more severe forms, as well as in young children, it is necessary to use special saline solutions for dehydration (“Oralit”, “Litrozol”, “Regidron”, etc.). For young children, drink 1 teaspoon every 2-3 minutes, a single intake of a large amount of liquid can provoke vomiting.

For the purpose of detoxification, sorbents are used: “Smecta”, activated carbon and others.

As prescribed by the doctor, drugs are used to restore the stool, antiemetic drugs.


Prevention consists in careful observance of personal hygiene and food hygiene. Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, before eating, after returning home from the street (especially if there are small children in the house).

Use only boiled water for drinking, especially when traveling.

In case of illness of one of the family members, it is necessary to provide him with separate dishes, a towel, and store a separate toothbrush.


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