Children have gotten sick in a daycare facility for children of employees where you work. The illness is attributed to an exposure to the Rotavirus. With a background in public health, what are...

Children have gotten sick in a daycare facility for children of employees where you work. The illness is attributed to an exposure to the Rotavirus. With a background in public health, what are three (or more) of the headings that you would use in informational material on the Rotavirus to be distributed to parents?

Expert Answers
teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Based on your background in public health, here are some headings I would recommend for use in promotional materials regarding the Rotavirus:

1) What the Rotavirus is and how it affects the health of your child.

Since this brochure is primarily intended for parents, the first heading should primarily address their main concern: the health and safety of their child at the daycare facility. You would mainly concentrate on utilizing the active voice and relying on shorter, concise sentences to get your points across. It's also a great idea to keep the segments in the brochure or promotional material short and to the point.

In this section, it is advisable to briefly explain that the Rotavirus is a contagious virus. Children who have been infected with the Rotavirus often exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

2) How dangerous is the Rotavirus?

Severe dehydration is a serious result of infection; therefore, infected children will need to be hospitalized so that the infection doesn't result in fatalities or deaths. Babies and young children are especially at risk and will need IV fluids to replace lost fluids.

3) How the Rotavirus is transmitted.

The virus is spread through the fecal-oral route. Infection of susceptible infants and young children can happen when hands or objects at the daycare are contaminated. In order to spread, the virus must essentially travel from the stools of infected children to the mouths of susceptible children. Thus, contaminated objects are the likely conduits (channels) for such an infection to spread.

Since young children often put their hands or fingers in their mouths, the risk of infection is very high.

 4) How to prevent a Rotavirus infection.

Although good hygiene can go a long way towards safeguarding infants and young children, the best course of action for concerned parents is to have their child/children vaccinated.

5) Is the Rotavirus vaccine safe?

At this point, you will want to reassure parents about the Rotavirus vaccine. There are two vaccines at this point in time: the RotaRix and RotaTeq. Both vaccines have been tested on more than 70,000 volunteers.

They are given orally (it's important to let parents know how the vaccines are administered). The RotaTeq vaccine is usually given at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months, while the RotaRix vaccine is administered in two doses (ages 2 months and 4 months).

Parents can decide on any two of the vaccines for their child/children. The vaccines are effective, meaning that they have between an 85% to 98% success rate (again, these would be important figures for parents).

There are, of course, side effects from being administered the vaccines. These are mild fever and/or diarrhea. Additionally, 1 in 100,000 infants experience  what is called intussusception, which is a bowel blockage.

6) If my child is already infected, what is the best course of treatment?

There are currently no antiviral drugs to treat the infection. The best and only treatment is to ensure that all patients are well hydrated. Since constant diarrhea may lead to dehydration (and, eventually, death), it is of the utmost importance to ensure that such a risk is minimized.

Hope this helps! Using what public health experts cite as 'simply-put' language can also go a long way towards communicating with and reassuring concerned parents. Please refer to the links below for examples.

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