Diarrhoea -Rotavirus Disease

By Dr Anmol Arora ( Sr Homoeopathic Specialist )

Worldwide, almost every child will have at least one rotavirus infection before he or she is five years old. The virus is so contagious and resilient that providing clean water and promoting proper hygiene do not significantly reduce incidence, which is nearly the same in industrialized and developing countries. Additionally, because rotavirus usually causes profuse vomiting, ORS/ORT is difficult to administer.

Rotaviruses are a genus of viruses belonging to the Reoviridae family. Seven major groups have been identified, three of which (groups A, B, and C) infect humans, with group A being the most common and widespread one.

diarrhoea - rotavirus disease

diarrhoea - rotavirus disease

(EM Rota virus from stool sample)

Rotavirus disease

  • Rotavirus (pronounced “row-tuh-virus”) is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in children worldwide.
  • Rotavirus is responsible for the deaths of an estimated 600,000 children each year, 80 percent of whom live in developing countries.
  • Rotavirus is found in all countries. Most children have had one or more rotavirus infections by the age of 5.
  • In young children, rotavirus disease is characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and severe dehydration. Death is caused by dehydration due to rotavirus infection, not by the virus itself.
  • Rotavirus disease cannot be treated with antibiotics or other drugs. Regardless of hygiene practices or access to clean water, nearly every child in the world will be infected with rotavirus before age 5. Vaccination is the only viable measure to prevent severe rotavirus illness.

What are the symptoms?

Rotavirus causes diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever and dehydration.

Some children have only a few mild symptoms, while others are affected more severely.

Diarrhoea can occur up to 20 times a day and for many days on end. Not only is this unpleasant for the child, but also for parents faced with a distressed child.

The repeated need to change a child’s nappy or clothing, and to wash clothing, can cause parents and carers to become exhausted.

As a consequence of the diarrhoea, skin problems often arise around the nappy area.

Dehydration is the major concern with rotavirus infection, as liquid is lost from the body through diarrhoea and vomiting, and may not be easily replaced.

Signs of dehydration in children include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fewer wet nappies or, in older children, not passing water for six to eight hours
  • Irritable behaviour
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Sunken or flatter than fontanelle (the soft spot on top of a baby’s head)
  • Dry and wrinkled skin
  • Being less alert and active than usual
  • Appearing weak
  • Fast pulse
  • Fast breathing

Around one in 38 children under the age of five needs hospital treatment for rotavirus gastroenteritis.

What’s the treatment?

  • There’s no specific treatment for rotavirus gastroenteritis except in Homoeopathy therapy.
  • Ensuring the child takes in enough liquid is essential. Rehydration treatments ORS
  • If someone with the infection wants to eat, soups, bread, potatoes and pasta are usually better tolerated.
  • Breastfed and bottle-fed babies and children can continue to be fed as normal.
  • Some children need hospital treatment for dehydration with intravenous fluids.

Homoeopathic  Treatment

Oral rehydration therapy is of course essential to deal with dehydration

Homoeopathic medicines have a gold standard to treat diarrhoea caused by rotavirus

  • Rx Aloes 6 given after every 5 minutes for three  time stop watery stool instantaneously
  • Rx Podophyllum , Elatrium , Gambogia , Croton Tig , Nux Vomica , Ars alb , Chamomilla are some other valuable gems of homoeopathy which does not only act as a palliative  but rather curative therapy.
  • Rx China can be given for the recovery of the patient.

Can it be prevented?

  • Good hygiene is essential to prevent the virus being spread. This includes washing hands after using the toilet, handling soiled clothing and linen, changing nappies and cleaning up afterwards, and before preparing and eating food.
  • Don’t share eating or drinking utensils, towels or face cloths. Clean toilet flush handles and seats, and door handles, and keep soiled clothing and linen away from the rest of the household washing. Use as hot a wash as possible for soiled clothing and linen.
  • Effective vaccines to protect against rotavirus gastroenteritis are available but aren’t yet included in the national childhood immunisation scheme.
  • Enhancing diarrheal disease control through a combined prevention and treatment strategy—incorporating rotavirus vaccine; new, low-osmolarity formulations of oral rehydration solution; and zinc supplementation during diarrhea episodes—can rapidly and significantly reduce child mortality where diarrheal disease is a serious burden
  • Children with rotavirus gastroenteritis should be kept away from other children until 48 hours after the symptoms have resolved, as the virus can still be spread during this time.


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