Rotavirus Impact: Stress for the Whole Family
Severe Diarrhea in Child Puts Emotional and Economic Strain on Families
Comments of Parents continued...
The rotavirus affected the whole family, she notes.
The study found that parents on average took off work for two to three days,
other children couldn't participate in activities, the diaper and disinfectant
bill increased as well as doctor's visits, parents reported. "It has an
emotional as well as an economic impact on the family," Mercon says.
Parents were scared that they weren't doing the right thing," she
Despite advice from the medical profession that parents orally rehydrate
children, 100% of the parents reported that it was impossible to get the child
to drink enough liquids, she adds.
Some children ended up in the emergency room and received intravenous
feedings, she says. Others, she commented, had unnecessary procedures - even
spinal taps - performed on them in the emergency room.
The virus has a severe impact on the family members' lives. "Physicians
need to understand this a little better. We need to change how we work with
these parents," DeMuro says.
"This is not a benign disease," comments Donald Shifrin, MD,
clinical professor of pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine.
"It lasts for a significant length of time and is significant in terms of
This study shows the stress and anxiety the rotavirus can place on family
members of the patient, he explains.
Vaccine on the Horizon
Mercon says a vaccine would go a long way to preventing this.
In 1998, a vaccine was developed and approved for sale by the FDA, but it
was withdrawn from the market in 1999 due to risk of serious side effects.
Currently there are other vaccine candidates that await approval for sale in