Rotavirus claims 197000 lives annually: Prof Salma Shaikh

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HYDERABAD: Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) department of Pediatrics Chairperson Prof Dr Salma Shaikh stated that Rotavirus diarrhoea annually claims lives of 197000 children aged less than five years all over the world.

The senior paediatrician said that Rotavirus was not well understood in the ancient world but there is no doubt that lack of clean drinking water and unsanitary conditions for the production and preparation of food represents the main reasons for the ongoing endemically of diarrhoea in the developing world including Pakistan.

Dr Salma Shaikh claimed that in Pakistan, Rotavirus is responsible for severe gastrointestinal infections in every 1 out of 3 children and that research studies conducted on children with severe diarrhoea needing intravenous hydration or hospitalization have shown Rotavirus to be the main culprit behind 20 to 35 per cent of all cases.

Talking about the treatment, she emphasised the importance of maintaining a balance of gender and equity and increased efforts for immunisation coverage, which is a requirement for the Rotavirus vaccine application.

Speaking about the treatment, Dr Salma Shaikh recommended that the cure of Rotavirus lies within the basis of clinical findings prior to definitive diagnosis. She also shed light on the precautionary measures of the Rotavirus, including filtration and chlorinating of water which are the two important steps in ensuring a safe water supply.