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Spurt in Acute Gastroenteritis Cases in Children

~Water contamination and chemical used as food sanitization may be the reasons behind it ~

Pune: During the COVID 19 pandemic, people are extra vigilant about practicing good hand hygiene, hand sanitization, and wearing a mask has become mandatory for self-protection. Doctors at Apollo clinic has noticed that, due to water contamination during the monsoon and poor quality sanitizers used for washing foods and vegetables cause stomach distress and can lead to spurt in the cases of Acute Gastroenteritis cases in children.

Apollo Clinic, a leading Indian multi-specialty clinic chain by Apollo Health & Lifestyle (AHLL) has recently started the safe OPD for the benefit of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, it has been noticed that number of Acute Gastroenteritis cases in Children below 5 have gone up.

Gastroenteritis in children is a commonly occurring problem with seasonal changes. Prompt treatment and the right intervention under the guidance of your paediatrician will help your child to recover faster. For the management of gastroenteritis, ORS, zinc supplementation, and probiotics are effective in controlling the diarrhoeas and enhancing gut immunity. To minimize the risk of spreading bacteria or viruses, always cook food to the recommended temperature to kill the foodborne pathogens,”said Dr. Anshu Sethi Paediatrician, Apollo clinic Pune.

Gastroenteritis means irritation and swelling of the inner lining of the stomach. It is a common condition, mainly because the microbes that can cause gastroenteritis are easily spread through contaminated food or water, and person-to-person contact. With the seasonal change, children under 5 and especially below 6 months, are more prone to gastrointestinal disease. The signs and symptoms may vary from mild ones like pain in the abdomen, vomiting, loose motions, fever, loss of appetite, to even severe ones like dehydration, swollen eyes, lethargy, blood in stools, and even low urine output, and needs immediate medical attention.

“Gastroenteritis in children can be bacterial or viral in origin. Children under 6 months are more susceptible to viral diarrhoea like Rota, whereas, children above the age group of 6 months to 5 years are prone to get bacterial infections. Rotavirus diarrhoea is the commonest cause is acute gastroenteritis worldwide and prevents with watery diarrhoea without blood in stools and low-grade fever, on the contrary, bacterial diarrhoea presents with high-grade fever and blood in stools and vomiting” said Dr. Sethi.

So, at the onset of symptoms, home-based care includes oral rehydration solution to prevent the complication of dehydration. Consult the doctor for further management of the symptoms. “For the management of gastroenteritis, in addition to ORS, zinc supplementation and probiotics are effective in controlling the diarrhoeas and increasing gut immunity. It is mandatory for children under the age of 6 months to take the rotavirus oral vaccine in any circumstances as a preventive measure to avoid acute gastroenteritis. Also, prompt consultation with the paediatrician is advised because even the milder symptoms can progress to serious condition and complications within a short period,” highlighted Dr. Sethi.

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