Health Buzz: Rotavirus

So, this past week my family was hit by the Rotavirus. It started with me, then Lochlan, followed by my mom, grandparents, husband and dad. Keegan was missed ... thank goodness. Mind you, Keegan was given a vaccination for Rotavirus. It turns out that the vaccine will prevent 74 percent of all rotavirus cases, 98 percent of severe cases, and about 96 percent of hospitalizations due to rotavirus!

What is the Rotavirus?
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among children, resulting in the hospitalization of approximately 55,000 children each year in the United States and the death of over 600,000 children annually worldwide. The incubation period for rotavirus is approximately 2 days. Every time you catch the rotavirus, you build up a better immunity and subsequent infections can be less severe.

Rotavirus is characterized by vomiting, watery diarrhea, low-grade fever and abdominal pain. Symptoms often start with vomiting followed by four to eight days of profuse diarrhea. The most common cause of death due to rotavirus is DEHYDRATION. If your child has severe diarrhea and vomiting, please take them to the pediatrician and do all you can to hydrate them.

Rotavirus is transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Contact with contaminated hands, surfaces and objects, and possibly by the respiratory route.

If you want to follow the path in our house, it started with me. Lochlan was ALL OVER ME in the bathroom as I tossed cookies in the toilet. I had to put him in the bathtub, since he wanted to stick his hands in the toilet along with half digested hotdogs. Ewww... So he probably got Rotavirus from me just by being near me at that time. My mom caught it next. She came to help me 2 days in a row, once because I was in so much pain. The second was so I could attend Kevin's graduation and she babysat. She cleaned up a vomity Lochlan and he stuck his hands in her mouth.

Next was Kevin. He was changing a lot of diarrhea diapers, so I assume it finally got to him through the poop.

My grandparents. Who knows! The incubation period makes me think that it must have been from my mom, when she thought she was still healthy.

Finally, my dad was hit. He was exposed through my grandparents, mom, me, Kevin and Lochlan - so it was almost inevitable.

Most important is staying hydrated. Milk was unsettling to us pukies, so I was giving Lochlan Pedialyte, Kevin was drinking Gatorade, I was drinking Cola syrup on ice and both my mom and I were enjoying Canada Dry Water. If you can't keep your child hydrated, take them to the ER. That's where my grandparents had to go.

And ask your pediatrician about the Rotavirus vaccine. It kept my tiny Keegan healthy through it all, which I greatly appreciate.

Want more? Visit the CDC page on Rotavirus.

Image courtesy hisks: Kriss Szkurlatowski.