Beware of rotavirus infection in autumn | Updated: 2023-09-12
As autumn arrives, infants and children are more likely to suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. That means rotavirus acute gastroenteritis (commonly known as rotavirus diarrhea or autumn diarrhea) is back again.
What is rotavirus?
Rotavirus is the main culprit causing severe diarrhea in babies worldwide aged up to 5 years. Babies can be infected by it throughout the year, but its attack becomes even fiercer in the autumn and winter seasons.
How is rotavirus spread?
Rotavirus is mainly transmitted through the fecal-oral route. The excreta (or vomitus) of babies infected with rotavirus contain a large amount of the virus. If babies are exposed to anything contaminated with the virus, such as clothing, utensils, etc., rotavirus can be transmitted directly or indirectly to them.
What are the symptoms of rotavirus infection?
Infected babies initially experience vomiting, followed by varying degrees of diarrhea, often accompanied by fever. In severe cases, clinical symptoms include large amounts of watery stool, frequent bowel movements, and frequent but reduced urine output.
Most infected babies do not experience severe symptoms and can recover with proper fluid replacement. However, when diarrhea (or vomiting) is severe, it should not be ignored, and prompt medical treatment is necessary. 
Dehydration can lead to shock and even death, especially in babies younger than one year old. A few babies infected with rotavirus may also develop complications such as myocarditis, convulsions, and pneumonia, which should also be taken seriously and treated promptly.
How to prevent rotavirus?
1.There is currently no specific antiviral medication for rotavirus. Therefore, vaccination against rotavirus is the most effective measure to prevent rotavirus acute gastroenteritis.
2.Babies and parents (including baby caregivers) should develop good hygiene habits, especially paying attention to hand hygiene and avoiding touching the mouth, eyes and nose, or food with unclean hands. Babies should not be allowed to suck their hands, and their hands should be cleaned promptly.

3.Pay attention to household hygiene, keep indoor spaces well-ventilated, clean babies' utensils (bottles, bowls, spoons, etc.) before use, and frequently change clothes, bedding, and toys.
4.Encourage and stick to breastfeeding.
5.Items contaminated with rotavirus should be thoroughly disinfected through methods such as high temperatures, disinfectants, or exposure to sunlight.