Took Ryan to his paediatrician yesterday to treat his nappy rashes. I asked him about Rotavirus infection and he gave a pamphlet for me to consider giving immunisation to Ryan before his sixth month.
In a nutshell, I gathered that Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea and vomiting among babies with almost all children being infected with rotavirus by 5 years of age. It's also frightening to learn that it is common among babies aged from 6 months to 2 years, with the youngest most at risk of serious disease, hospitalisation and even death if left untreated. And Ryan is 4.5 old months now and would be 6 months very very soon. Emmm...frigthening!
Symptoms of Rotavirus infection include fever 1-2 days after infection with vomiting lasting up to 9 days. Diarrhoea or watery stool may occur up to 20 times per day and persist up to 3 weeks. This would lead to acute loss of fluid and electrolytes resulting in dehydration, requiring hospitalisation.
Rotavirus is reportedly spread very easily, highly infectious and transmitted via faecal-oral route as well as person to person via infected hands, toys, objects and surfaces.
As if this is not enough to cause anxiety, there is apparently no specify medicine or treatment for rotavirus infection and the child would have to rely on his or her own natural antibodies. All the hospital could do is to rehydrate (replace lost fluid) the child.
My paediatrician tells me that the immunisation comes in two doses of oral medicine taken one month apart. Immunisation is apparently useless after the baby turns 6 months old.
Any advice or comment from experienced parents out there on this issue? I guess I would probably get Ryan to get this immunisation at the end of this month when he goes for his next jab. Better to be safe than sorry.