Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt | Attorneys At Law

The relationship between rotavirus and acute kidney damage

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

Rotavirus is a common cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, causing fever, severe diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. While most people recover with no long-term effects on their health, others experience acute kidney damage

Unfortunately, rotavirus is a common inhabitant of Florida water parks. Those who become sick after visiting one should be sure their doctors examine their kidneys for damage.

How rotavirus spreads

Rotavirus spreads between individuals via the fecal-oral route. People consume fecal particles containing the virus by consuming tainted water and food or touching contaminated surfaces such as toys, door handles or toilet seats. In Florida, the recycled water in public waterparks makes them hotspots for the virus to spread.

How rotavirus causes kidney injury

When someone contracts rotavirus, the virus targets the gastrointestinal tract. In severe cases, the body loses a significant amount of fluids and electrolytes, leading to dehydration. This dehydration can strain the kidneys, sometimes resulting in acute kidney injury. AKI occurs when the kidneys fail to filter waste products from the blood.

Besides dehydration, rotavirus can cause a condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. HUS is a severe complication that involves the destruction of red blood cells and can lead to kidney failure. Though less common, this complication highlights the potential severity of rotavirus infections.

Why kidney damage may go unnoticed

Acute kidney injury and HUS can be challenging to detect, especially in their early stages. Many doctors focus on treating the more obvious symptoms of rotavirus, such as diarrhea and vomiting. The symptoms of AKI, including reduced urine output, swelling and fatigue, might not appear immediately or can be mistaken for other issues.

Ways to prevent rotavirus

Parents should warn children not to drink the water in waterparks, and participants should bathe or at least wash their hands after visiting one. Vaccination against rotavirus is effective and considered safe for children.

Parents should watch their children for signs of dehydration and seek medical attention if symptoms of rotavirus appear. Without timely detection, the kidney damage may progress, potentially leading to long-term kidney problems.



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