Two-Year-Old in Kerala Died from Rotavirus, Not Shigella Infection

Rotavirus causes gastroenteritis and infected persons can suffer symptoms similar to those of food poisoning.

2 min read
Hindi Female

A little after reports said that a two-year-old had died of shigella at Kozhikode Medical College and hospital, doctors have stated that it was not so. Following a stool culture test at Maniple Institute of Virology, test for shigella have come back negative, reported TNM.

Dr Jayeashree, District Medical Officer (DMO) of Kozhikode informed TNM that the child had in fact succumbed to a rotavirus infection.

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.
Dr Jayashree

Rotavirus causes gastroenteritis and infected persons can suffer symptoms similar to those of food poisoning, reported TNM.

According to the TNM report, the biggest indication of a child having rotavirus infection is the onset of severe diarrhoea. A rotavirus infected child may often have loose stools, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and appear extremely dehydrated. It is essential to maintain fluid balance in order to avoid rotavirus-induced dehydration which can be life threatening.

Two vaccines are available for children: RotaTeq and Rotarix. Paediatricians recommend children should be given these by the time they are one year old.


Reports had previously said two-year-old Ziyan lost his life to shigella infection in Kerala’s Kozhikode on Monday, 23 July. He was undergoing treatment at Kerala’s Kozhikode Medical College and Hospital, reported TNM.

According to WHO, shigella is one of the leading causes of dysentery in the world and is spread through contaminated food, water or through contact with infected people. The WHO site also says that a combination of shigella and HIV infection can have “deleterious consequences” because the immunity of HIV-positive persons is compromised.

The bacteria incubation period, reported TNM, is usually within one week.

Symptoms may include abdominal pain, cramps or bloating. People may also have fever or blood or mucous stained diarrhoea. Nausea or vomiting may also commonly be caused by the bacteria. A shigella infection may lead to seizures in young children.

While most dysenteries are caused by viruses, reported TNM, shigella-related dysentery is caused by a bacteria.

She told TNM: “Shigella is a diarrheal disease and is highly contagious. It mostly affects children under the age of 5.”

It is highly advisable that people follow appropriate personal, food, and water hygiene measures. We also are telling everyone to wash their hands and follow routine hygiene measures.
Dr Jayashree Kozhikode DMO to TNM

Dr Jayashree also asked people to drink boiled water.

The infection is more or less self-limiting and only becomes serious in some persons. As long as personal and environmental hygiene measures are followed, there is not much to worry about.
Dr Jayashree to TNM

Kerela state officials had issued an alert in June after the shigella infection had taken 3 lives.

(With inputs from TNM.)

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Topics:  Bacteria   Symptoms   Infection 

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