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Be aware to fight the ill effects of Rotavirus

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Children and newborns in India are prone to numerous diseases that are caused by many deadly viruses. Among these, Rotavirus in recent times has come across as one of the deadliest.

Parents and doctors are sometimes not able to recognize the symptoms as these are similar to severe diarrhea. Till now, Rotavirus has claimed more than 500,000 children worldwide on a yearly basis.

In India alone, 11.37 million instances of rotavirus gastroenteritis have been recorded during 2011-2013. Mortality rates are really high in regions of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

Till now more than 78,000 deaths approximately have been recorded annually in India.

Effects of Rotavirus

Cleanliness is the key to prevention

Even though many companies have introduced rotavirus vaccine in India, however, prevention is any day better than cure. One of the main causes of the spread of rotavirus in India is the lack of cleanliness.

Rotavirus is transmitted through the stool of one child to the mouth of another child. The virus can easily survive on unwashed hands for days.

Therefore, it becomes imperative to wash the child’s hand before he eats anything. Apart from this, every child should always wash their hands after using the toilet.

Some facts about Rotavirus

Some of the common facts about Rotavirus are as follows:

  • Rotavirus has different strains that cause different types of infections.
  • If a child is unvaccinated then he or she will be effected by the virus by the age of 3.
  • It is one of the most common causes of diarrhea among children and infants.
  • Rotavirus is known to be very contagious in nature.
  • Clean hands and toilets can easily prevent the spread of rotavirus.

Although these facts are quite common, however, people tend to forget them easily, which causes the spread and transmission of rotavirus.

Symptoms of Rotavirus

Ignorance about the symptoms of rotavirus is one of the biggest reasons for a high mortality rate. People in rural areas in India are generally not aware of the common symptoms of the virus. Knowing the symptoms of the virus is one of the biggest weapons that can lessen its effect.

The initial infection along with the symptoms occurs after 2 days of the child being infected. Some of the common signs of rotavirus infection are:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Severe dehydration

As the symptoms of dehydration and rotavirus are the same, therefore, sometimes the infection is mistaken as dehydration, which eventually results in the death of the child as the treatment for dehydration is completely ineffective on the virus.

Vaccination programs in India

Different medical firms along with UNICEF realized the issue of rotavirus way long back. Therefore different programs related to rotavirus vaccination in India have been started in the last couple of years.

These programs are slowly taking their effect. However, there are places in rural India that still have not been covered under these vaccination programs.

Although the goal is still out of reach, doctors and medical organizations are hoping to eradicate the virus with vaccines and awareness just like polio.

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