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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one of the leading causes of dehydration and severe diarrhoea in children aged less than 5 years globally is Rotavirus. It shows a yearly estimate of more than 2 million hospitalisations and more than 25 million outpatient visits.

The faecal-oral route mainly transmits Rotavirus; the virus lives in the infected person's stool and is transmitted from hand to mouth. Therefore, it primarily affects children below the age of 3 years, and in developing countries, Rotavirus affects them before they reach their first birthday.

In the article below, we shall focus on the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of Rotavirus. Also, we shall understand how health insurance plans can help cover vaccination costs (Rotavirus being one of them). Unfortunately, with many insurance companies offering various health insurance plans, choosing the best for you and your family has become difficult.

With premium being one of the most crucial determinants for decision-making, an easy tool like Tata AIG's health insurance premium calculator can always come in handy. Make sure you opt for a health insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage that fits your budget. Health insurance plans from Tata AIG are designed to protect you and your loved ones financially during medical emergencies.

Rotavirus: Meaning

Rotavirus is commonly called stomach flu, a cause of gastroenteritis. The virus is highly contagious and transmissible that infects the stomach and intestines. The infection causes vomiting and diarrhoea, particularly in young children and infants.

Children below the age of 5 years are highly susceptible to developing an infection, whereas adults can also get infected with Rotavirus, but the severity is usually significantly less.

Rotavirus immunisation or vaccination is recommended for infants as it is the best way to prevent Rotavirus infections.

Rotavirus Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, symptoms of Rotavirus are most prevalent in children. Children can start showing signs within two days after exposure to the virus.

As mentioned earlier, symptoms of Rotavirus are most prevalent in children. Children can start showing signs within two days after exposure to the virus.

Rotavirus symptoms in children

A common symptom is, Rotavirus causes diarrhoea among infected children. Also, with it, many children tend to experience:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • High fever

  • Severe fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Dehydration

  • Abdominal pain

  • Cough and runny nose

Many times, due to severe diarrhoea, the body might lose water rapidly, leading to dehydration. Dehydration is one of the significant concerns in children because they are typically more susceptible to loss of water and electrolytes through vomiting and diarrhoea. Therefore, it becomes essential to monitor your child carefully for symptoms of dehydration, especially if infected with Rotavirus.

A child with dehydration may have the following:

  • Dry mouth

  • Very tired or less alert

  • Reduced urination frequency (or fewer wet diapers in infants)

  • Cool skin

  • Lack of tears when crying

  • Sunken eyes

Rotavirus symptoms in adults

Generally, healthy adults may face mild to no symptoms when contracting Rotavirus. However, if the severity of the infection is high, an adult may show the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • High fever

  • Severe fatigue

  • Dehydration

  • Irritability

When to Consult a Doctor

It is essential to monitor your and your child's health if you contracted Rotavirus.

You can contact your child's doctor if:

  • He has been suffering from severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours

  • There is frequent vomiting

  • He excretes black or tarry stool or stool containing blood or pus

  • He has a temperature of 102 F or higher

  • He complains of severe pain

  • He shows signs or symptoms of dehydration, as mentioned above.

Similarly, for adults, you can call your doctor if:

  • You have had diarrhoea for more than two days

  • There is blood in your vomit or bowel movements

  • Your temperature is higher than 103 F

  • You show the signs or symptoms of dehydration, as mentioned earlier.

What Causes Rotavirus

One of the common questions that may come to your mind is that Rotavirus causes which disease? Rotavirus germs are present in an infected person's stool. It can spread from two days before symptoms appear till ten days after symptoms reduce. This virus can spread quickly to other surfaces if one uses unwashed hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers.

If Rotavirus germs come into contact with someone's mouth, it takes the faecal-oral route. It is to be noted that even if the infected person does not show any symptoms, he can still transmit the germs.

For example, if you have Rotavirus and don't wash your hands after using the toilet, the virus can spread to anything you touch, like, the doorknob, food or toys. Now, if your child feels your unwashed hands or the object or places that are contaminated and later puts those hands in his mouth, he would probably catch the virus.

In addition, the virus can remain transmittable and infectious on surfaces (if not disinfected) for weeks or even months

Rotavirus Diagnosis

You may suffer from diarrhoea for various reasons, and every episode of diarrhoea cannot be Rotavirus. A doctor can usually diagnose Rotavirus infection based on the symptoms and by doing a physical examination. In most cases, there are no additional tests needed.

However, suppose you or the child has a high fever. If there are blood stains in the stool and vomit or any such severe conditions, the doctor may write for a stool sample test for Rotavirus or similar infections that cause diarrhoea.

Some of the familiar laboratory tests doctors recommend for detecting Rotavirus are:

  • ELISA (Enzyme immunoassay)

  • Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)

  • Latex agglutination assays

  • Rapid strip-based tests

Rotavirus Treatment

Typically, there are not many medications or treatments to cure Rotavirus. The infection improves eventually without having any long-term health effects. Controlling dehydration is the cornerstone of treating this virus. Your doctor may prescribe some antiviral medications, over-the-counter antidiarrheal drugs, or a solution, mainly that contains Zinc and antibiotics (if the severity is high).

The main challenge is to control dehydration among babies and toddlers. Some of them may even require hospitalisation. They might have to get intravenous (IV) fluids to bring back the body's fluid and salt levels. Similar to adults, older kids can also be treated at home.

  • Rotavirus treatment at home

  • Individuals, including adults and kids, who face diarrhoea but no vomiting can continue with their regular eating and drinking pattern. However, they should ensure they incorporate plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

For individuals who suffer from mild dehydration, you should ideally:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Eat broth-based soups.

  • Drink oral rehydration solutions or other fluids with electrolytes. You can buy these from medical stores or supermarkets. However, medical experts do not recommend homemade electrolyte solutions, as the combination of water, salt, and sugar may not be appropriate.

  • Avoid undiluted fruit juices, drinks, soda, etc. They can make diarrhoea worse. Also, avoid sugary or fatty foods intake.

For infants, continue breastfeeding or give them formula, provided they are not vomiting.

Once you or your child starts feeling better, you can reduce the oral rehydration solution and increase more of the regular food and drink diet.

Ensure that you avoid giving your child over-the-counter medications for vomiting, nausea or diarrhoea until your doctor has recommended it.

Preventing Rotavirus

Some of the traditional yet effective prevention strategies include:

  • To prevent the spread of Rotavirus, wash your hands often and thoroughly after using the toilet, changing your baby's diapers or helping your child use the bathroom. Encourage the same in your children and other members of the family.

  • Disinfecting surfaces also plays a vital role in prevention. Use clinically approved disinfectant to clean surfaces and objects that are frequently touched.

  • Similarly, enhance the overall water and nutrition quality. For example, drinking boiled or filtered water and eating a nutritious and balanced diet go a long way to keeping you healthy and aware of any viruses.

However, these prevention techniques may not be sufficient. Hence, the World Health Organization recommends vaccinating children against Rotavirus to prevent severe diarrhoea and hospitalisations.

Rotavirus vaccines are given to children in India as part of their immunisation programme. Presently, three live oral vaccines are licensed and marketed in India. They are:

  • Human monovalent live vaccine (ROTARIX),

  • Human Bovine pentavalent live vaccine (ROTATEQ),

  • And a vaccine based on Indian neonatal strains 116E (ROTAVAC).

The immunisation is provided under a three-dose regime in India, typically at six weeks, ten weeks, and fourteen weeks of age.

All these three vaccines have been widely tested and have shown decent protection against the virus. Millions of infants and babies across the globe have taken this vaccine safely. In India, both these vaccines are also given as oral dosage and not through an injection. The vaccine is safe and effective at preventing Rotavirus disease.

However, if the infant or child suffers from the following conditions, they are not recommended to take this vaccination until they fully recover.

  • Suffering a bowel blockage called intussusception

  • Weak immunity

  • Susceptible to allergies related to any vaccine component

  • Children suffer from moderate to severe diarrhoea or vomiting, and the body requires rehydration therapy.

How Can a Health Insurance Policy Help?

Vaccinations have single-handedly brought down infant mortality rates in India. Globally, vaccinations save millions of kids (mainly those below the age of 5 years) from losing their lives, thus, reinforcing the age-old belief that 'prevention is better than cure.'

However, in India, healthcare costs are rising by the day. Therefore, many parents, mainly in Tier-3 cities and rural regions, do not prioritise vaccination for their children as it acts as an added cost. This is when the importance of having a health insurance plan comes to the limelight.

A health insurance policy can offer coverage to prevent you from the burden of added expenses related to vaccinations. Most of the health insurance policies by almost all insurers provide vaccine coverage for a year if you have added your children to the plan.

For example, Tata Medicare Premier Plan offers your child first-year vaccination coverage and additional vaccination coverage for two years of continuous coverage.

At Tata AIG, you can easily compare, purchase, and renew your mediclaim policy in simple steps. Moreover, you can also calculate your premiums with the health insurance premium calculator accurately and instantly.

You can go through various offerings, calculate estimated premiums, and select a plan that best fits you. Our vast network of hospitals (around 7,200 hospitals across the country) allow you to enjoy cashless claims without spending your money.

How to Buy Tata AIG's Health Insurance Policy?

At Tata AIG, you can buy your preferred health insurance with vaccine coverage in two ways – offline and online.

You can buy our health plan online in just a few clicks! All you need is to follow the below easy Steps.

Step 1: Go to the Health Insurance page on our official website.

Step 2: Choose members of your family you wish to insure, for example, you, your spouse, children, parents etc., and click on 'Get Plan'.

Step 3: Fill in your medical details, your contact number, email address and residential address.

Step 4: You will get recommendations for different plans. You can improve your coverage by opting for add-ons to the basic plan.

Step 5: Select an adequate sum assured.

Step 6: You can check instant premium quotes and compare plans to see which is best for you.

Step 7: Click on 'Buy Now' to purchase your plan online.

Once the application is processed, you will receive your policy documents and the quote on your registered WhatsApp number or email address.

To purchase health insurance offline, follow the below Steps.

Step 1: Locate your nearest Tata AIG branch

Step 2: Once you visit our branch, our official will discuss your requirements and provide information on our plans.

Step 3: Choose the plan you think is best for you. Include

add-ons if required.

Step 4: Fill in the application form and attach the necessary documents.

Step 5: Submit and make the payment.

After verifications in a few days, you will receive your policy in the mail.

Why Buy Health Insurance from Tata AIG?

Choosing the best health insurance plan is not easy. You first need to access your needs, then select a plan that fulfils that need at the best premium rates. With rich experience in the industry and valued features, Tata AIG health insurance plans can be the right choice for you.

A Tata Promise: With a 150-year legacy and more than 20 years in the insurance business, Tata has become synonymous with trust, quality, and exceptional customer service.

High Claim Settlement Ratio: Our Claim Settlement Ratio during the financial year 2020-21 was 94.21%. This proves a high likelihood of getting your settlement in case of a valid claim.

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24/7 Assistance: Our commitment towards our promise is unshakable. We can assist you 24x7 through various channels like phone calls, WhatsApp and email support. To contact us, click here.

Wide-reaching Hospital Network: We have a strong network of more than 7200 hospitals across the country that enables you for cashless hospitalisation. We now settle your medical expenses directly with the network hospitals without you getting involved.

Convenient Online Procedures: You can select, compare, buy or renew your health insurance policy by paying the premiums online - anytime, anywhere.

Discounts: Our discounts are unmissable. For instance, a three-year Tata AIG MediCare or MediCare Protect plan can get you a 10% discount on your premium or adding 2 or more members gives you at least 20% off.

Key Takeaways

Children typically have weak immunity and thus are at a higher risk of infection by diseases like Rotavirus. Proper prevention techniques like vaccinations can help them fight against this disease. So, you must ensure giving Rotavirus and other vaccinations on time. Don't let the cost of these vaccinations come in the way of their healthier life. Get a health insurance policy for you and your loved ones that provides vaccination coverage. However, a critical point you need to learn is the inclusion and exclusion of vaccines in the plan. This will ensure that your claim is accepted and make an informed decision.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

Related Articles

How long does Rotavirus last?

How long does Rotavirus last?


When your child suffers from Rotavirus, they may get fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. The watery diarrhoea can happen between 3 and 8 days of the infection, and the condition can last till ten days in stool, even after the symptoms go away.

Is Rotavirus contagious?


Yes, Rotavirus is highly contagious. It can spread among children and adults through direct or indirect contact with an infected person's faeces (stool). This usually happens when kids avoid washing their hands, especially before eating and using the toilet. The virus enters their body when their contaminated hand touches their nose or mouth.

Why is dehydration a severe concern for babies and small children?


Dehydration occurs due to the rapid loss of fluid through vomiting and diarrhoea. The body thus loses valuable nutrients and salts to a great extent. This condition is mainly dangerous for babies under one year of age as they have small body weights. If severe dehydration occurs, the doctor may give the baby intravenous fluids (IV) in the hospital.

Why is the Rotavirus vaccine important for children?


The best way to prevent Rotavirus spread among children is through vaccination. First, it can help protect your child from Rotavirus. It can also prevent them from developing vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain and fever from the disease. Lastly, it prevents them from missing school and does not disrupt their learning.

Are there any side effects of the vaccine?


Rotavirus vaccines are very safe and effective. Millions of babies worldwide take them, and they are known to have no impactful side effects. However, some children may develop mild fever, diarrhoea and fussiness after vaccination. Also, some studies have shown a slight rise in cases of intussusception, which is one case in every 100,000 infants after vaccination.

My baby was infected with Rotavirus earlier. Can I vaccinate him?


Yes. You should vaccinate your baby even if Rotavirus has already infected him. Your baby might not be immune to all of the Rotavirus strains in the vaccine. Thus, you should complete the vaccination course as per your age.