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Rotavirus: What’s the Best Course of Action?

Q: What is the best course of action for Rotavirus? Stay home to see how you get on, or go straight to the hospital?

A: Rotavirus is a viral infection affecting the intestinal tract causing stomach upset and diarrhea.

A person can contract rotavirus multiple times, but symptoms are usually worst during the first infection.

Babies and infants are especially vulnerable to dehydration during rotavirus infection; continue feeding and monitor the child’s condition closely, as severe dehydration can have dangerous consequences.

  • Avoid giving your child any over-the-counter medications unless recommended by your doctor. Rehydration drinks formulated specifically for young children (such as Pedialyte) are recommended to replenish electrolytes and keep your child hydrated, especially if the diarrhea continues for more than a few days. Water doesn’t provide comparable nutrients or electrolytes and may not be absorbed when the child has diarrhea.
  • Avoid sports and rehydration drinks intended for adults (such as Gatorade), as their formulation is not suitable for young children.
  • Keep your child as comfortable as possible with frequent diaper changes; hold the child whenever the child indicates wanting to be held.
  • Seek immediate medical help if your child starts to show any of the signs of severe dehydration: very dry eyes and mouth; diapers remaining dry for 12 hours or longer; child is constantly sleeping and difficult to wake; or the child becomes limp and floppy-limbed.

Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored content from Bumrungrad International Hospital, part of the Ask a Doctor series. It is solely intended as general information that may be useful for parents. To submit a non-pressing question, please fill out this online form.

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