Rotavirus is highly contagious and a common cause of infectious diarrhoea in developing countries. Since children younger than three are worst affected, a paediatrician sheds light on detection, prevention and treatment.
Nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhoea and fever are the most common symptoms of rotavirus. These symptoms usually start one to three days after exposure to the virus and last for an average of eight days.
‘If your family doctor or paediatrician suspects your child has rotavirus, the infection can be confirmed with a stool sample test,’ says Dr Heidi Ackermann, a paediatrician at Mediclinic George. Adults can also contract the virus, but the symptoms are usually much milder.
‘You can also can get the virus more than once, but you won’t get re-infected with the same strain,’ Dr Ackermann adds. Important to note is that although blood in the stools is not a symptom of the virus, it is a symptom that can’t