March 18, 2020
From among the 400 children visiting Kanti Children's Hospital on a daily basis, 40 are found to be suffering from diarrhoea.
According to the hospital, on an average, five children are brought to the hospital after their health condition seriously deteriorates. "Some children are brought to the hospital only after severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. In such cases, the children have to be admitted immediately", said Dr RP Bichha, director at kanti children's hospital.
During winter, the most common cause of diarrhoea is rota virus, according to doctor. "Rota virus responds to changes in climate in the tropics. More cases of rota virus infections are found during extreme cold and dry seasons. Rota virus gets a favourable climate for growth during these seasons", said Dr Anup Bastola, consultant tropical medicine at Sukraraj Tropical and In-fectious Disease Hospital, Teku.
People infected with rota virus shed the virus in their stool. The virus then spreads in the environment. Contaminated food and water is the source of rota virus. "Children suffer from rota virus infection when they touch contaminated items such as toys, towel and clothing and put their fingers in the mouth, or when they lick those objects or eat contaminated food and water", added Dr Biccha.
When children suffer from diarrhoea due to rota virus there is sudden onset of vomiting in children. Frequent loose watery stool with increased thirst are symptoms of infection. At times, children are likely to suffer from fever. "Vomiting once or twice is not serious, but if the children has persistent vomiting then it is quite serious", said Dr Biccha.
Mortality and morbidity are higher in children below the age of one year. Children under the age of five are at risk of infection. Complications of diarrhoea can lead to acute kidney injury or kidney failure.
Hand washing, maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness are some of the preventive measures against rota virus infection. Children below the age of six months should be exclusively breast fed. Continue breast feeding but increase the frequency if the child is suffering from diarrhoea", Dr Bichha suggested. The children should be given oral rehydration solution and fluid to prevent dehydration.
As viral growth is greater during winter, the surroundings should be kept neat and clean. The children should be kept warm, suggested Dr Biccha.
Nepal Demographic Health survey- 2016 showed that prevalence of diarrhoea among children below 5 years of age was 8% children below 6 months 15.2 % and children below 12 months suffered from diarrhoea.
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