HYDERABAD - Chairperson of LUMHS’ department of Paediatrics Prof Dr Salma Shaikh informed that the Rotavirus diarrhoea claims lives of 197000 children under five years of age annually all over the world.

While talking to APP senior Paediatrician Prof Dr Salma Shaikh said that Rotavirus was not well understood in the ancient world, probably because its symptoms were not primarily diarrhoea, but rather systemic and non-specific.

Dr Salma Sheikh said that there is no doubt that lack of clean drinking water and unsanitary conditions for the production and preparation of food represent the main reasons for the ongoing endemically of Diarrhoea in the developing world.

Professor Shaikh highlighted that globally 700,000 children under five die of diarrhoea while rotavirus kills more than 197,000 (28 per cent) children. In Pakistan rotavirus is responsible for severe gastrointestinal infections in every 1 out of 3 children, she added.

She informed that research studies on children with severe diarrhoea needing intravenous hydration or hospitalization in Pakistan, have shown that rotavirus is the main culprit causing between 20-35 percent of all severe cases in children.

In Pakistan rotavirus is responsible for gastrointestinal infections in one out of three children, Dr Shaikh said. She said that maintaining a balance of gender and equity and increased immunization coverage was also a requirement for the rotavirus vaccine application.

About the treatment, Dr Salma Shaikh recommended that treatment of Rotavirus begin on the basis of clinical findings prior to definitive diagnosis. Sadly in endemic regions, facilities for definitive diagnosis, based on blood or bone marrow culture or serologic tests may be entirely lacking, she added.

Prof Salma Shaikh informed about the precautionary measures of the Rota Diarrhoea virus that filtration and chlorinating are the two important steps in ensuring a safe water supply.

She said about the Rotavirus that although most parents are not as familiar with the name rotavirus as they are with other viruses, like the cold or the flu, rotavirus is a very common cause of infections in children. In fact, rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in young children and is often responsible for outbreaks of diarrhoea in day care, she added.