How is my child's rotavirus treated in a hospital?

In order to find out if your child has rotavirus, a sample of his stool will be sent to the laboratory for testing. Once it is sent it takes about 24 hours to get the results back.

When your child is tested for rotavirus, he will be treated with "contact precautions." This means that all healthcare providers will wear gloves and yellow gowns when entering your child's room to care for him. Families and visitors do not have to wear gloves and gowns as long as they wash their hands when they leave. Your child cannot leave the room as long as he has diarrhea symptoms because rotavirus can spread to other patients. Whenever people leave your child's room, they need to wash their hands before touching anything. People can usually spread the disease until the diarrhea stops.

In the hospital, your child will receive fluids until his intestines work normally. Your child may be allowed to eat only clear liquids, or he may have an intravenous (IV) line (a tiny tube inserted into a vein) to replace fluids.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is often the only medicine used. Anti-diarrhea medicines may hide symptoms and do not allow the body to get rid of the virus.

When the diarrhea and vomiting improve, your child may slowly begin to eat a normal diet. Your child can go home when he can drink fluids without increasing his bowel movements, and he can take in more than he loses with his bowel movements.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.