Kerala toddler did not succumb to shigella: Hospital confirms

While there was a scare of shigella earlier, officials had stated there was no need to panic and that this particular incident was the result of a common virus.
Kerala toddler did not succumb to shigella: Hospital confirms
Kerala toddler did not succumb to shigella: Hospital confirms

A day after it was reported that a 2-year-old boy had died at Kozhikode Medical College and Hospital, from shigella, doctors have now confirmed that his death was not due to the bacterial infection.  

The stool culture was sent to Manipal Institute of Virology. However, the tests for shigella came back negative.

Speaking to TNM, Dr Sreekumar Paediatric Surgeon and Children’s’ Medical Superintendent of the hospital said, “The tests have come back and were negative for shigella.”

Dr Jayashree, District Medical Officer (DMO) of Kozhikode, confirmed to TNM that the boy had contracted a rotavirus infection, which he had succumbed to.

“Rotavirus is an extremely common infection, especially in young children. The same hygiene measures have to be implemented for rotavirus. Washing hands, maintain good personal and environmental hygiene measures,” she stated.

The virus causes gastroenteritis and presents in infected persons with symptoms similar to that of typical food poisoning.

Children presenting with a rotavirus infection often have loose stools, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and often appear extremely dehydrated. The biggest indication that a child is suffering from a rotavirus infection is the onset of severe diarrhoea.

Rotavirus-induced dehydration can be life-threatening if fluid balance is not maintained.

There is no specific treatment for rotavirus infection, as it is a self-limiting condition which usually gets better on its own within a few days, though supportive measures such as intravenous fluids can be given.

Two vaccines, RotaTeq and Rotarix, are available for children, which most paediatricians recommend children are given within the first year of life.

At present, officials are advising that people continue to boil water, wash their hands regularly, and maintain other such personal hygiene measures.

In June, Kerala state Health Department officials had issued a notice to the public, after 2 people from Kozhikode district and 1 from Thiruvananthapuram had lost their lives to shigellosis.  

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