Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Doctor Warns of Monsoon Season Virus

Aug 10, 2019 08:19 AM EDT

Monsoon Season
(Photo : Brian Merrill)

Monsoon season has started in several parts of the world and it brings with it several infections that prompted health providers to issue out warnings for public health. According to surveys, the viral infections that are most common during the monsoon season include salmonella or typhoid infections, rotavirus, and other infections that are the result of consuming contaminated food and water. 

Dr. Om Srivastav, the director of the department of infectious diseases in Mumbai's Jaslok hospital pointed out that rotavirus could affect any age group. The doctor said the disease is a viral infection that goes through the fecal-oral route. This means that food contaminated by the virus was consumed by those who exhibit rotavirus symptoms.

Even if rotavirus has been known to affect mostly children that are below 14 years of age, experts pointed out that it is a particularly severe infectious agent that could affect all ages.

To explain, the experts cited that a stool sample could contain 100 million to 10 billion copies of the virus. It takes only 100 copies of the virus in a stool sample to cause a devastating infection on the human body.

The reason why children are most commonly affected by rotavirus is that their young immune system is still weak and is still at its development stage. Experts warn that if a person is exhibiting excessive amounts of vomiting and diarrhea, accompanied by abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, and intestinal obstruction, that the patient should be brought to a doctor as soon as possible. If not, complications might occur in some cases leading to death.

Complications occur when the body loses volume because fluid loss is accompanied by the loss of electrolytes as well. This includes potassium and magnesium. This will then lead to fatigue, severe weakness of muscles, in some cases, pseudo and partial obstruction in the intestines, and severe heart conduction abnormalities. There are also cases reported where low blood sugar and an altered mental behavior was observed when not treated in the early stages of rotavirus infection.

As of the moment, there are no antivirals and antibiotics for rotavirus infection. There are some proposals for using immunoglobulins. However, there is still a need for this theory to be validated. Experts pointed out that there is a vaccine that could mitigate contacting the virus. The vaccine has been reported to have been used over the last 20 years, reducing the mortality of patients affected with rotavirus infections from around 40% to a single-digit rating.

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