Topic: Diseases & Conditions
This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about rotavirus. Please feel free to ask your child’s doctor or nurse if you have any questions.
WHAT IS ROTAVIRUS?
Rotavirus, commonly called “roto,” is a virus found in the GI tract (gastrointestinal tract – stomach and intestines). It is very common in the winter and spring months.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ROTO?
• Diarrhea (green, liquid and mucus-like stools)
• Low-grade fever (up to 100°F)
HOW IS ROTO TREATED?
Antibiotic treatment is not effective in viral illness. Medications to stop the diarrhea are generally not given, as they may make the illness last longer. Care should include drinking electrolyte solutions (available over-the-counter) to replace fluids lost by diarrhea. Children with diarrhea who are unable to take fluids by mouth because of vomiting may need IV fluids.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR MY CHILD AT HOME?
Do not give medications to children to stop the diarrhea unless directed to do so by a health care provider. Since the risk of dehydration is greater in infants and young children, parents should closely watch the number of wet diapers changed per day when the child is sick. Electrolyte and fluid replacement solutions for children are available in food and drug stores. Jell-O water, soda and plain water do not replace electrolytes the child needs when dehydrated from vomiting and/or diarrhea. The symptoms of roto may continue for up to two weeks after discharge from the hospital. To help your child you can:
• Encourage plenty of fluids
• Encourage rest
• Return to regular diet as soon as possible
• Follow up with PCP
CAN ROTO SPREAD TO OTHERS?
Roto can spread to other children and adults. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly, especially after diaper changes or helping your child to the bathroom. Be sure to wash your hands before eating or preparing meals. Even if your child has had roto before, he or she can catch it again.
WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR
Call your child’s doctor if:
• Your child has signs or symptoms of dehydration (dry skin, decreased or no urine output, no tears when crying, dry lips and tongue, sunken soft spot on top of head (infant) or sunken eyes)
• If your child is unable to keep down fluids and is vomiting for more than 12 hours
• If your child has increased diarrhea (more than five loose stools per day)
Remember that babies can become dehydrated more quickly. Call your doctor anytime you are concerned.
Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).
La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 2000, 2003
The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.
Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 2000, 2003
Sign up for Pediatric Link
Finding the latest trusted child health and safety information doesn't have to be hard. Pediatric Link, Dayton Children's e-newsletter offers timely and up-to-date information for health care professionals from the experts you trust at Dayton Children's. Sign up