Oral rehydration and maintenance of children with rotavirus and bacterial diarrhoeas

Bull World Health Organ. 1979;57(3):453-9.


PIP: The outcome of administering ORT (oral rehydration therapy) to 62 infants admitted to a Costa Rican hospital with acute rotavirus or bacterial diarrheas and with 5-10% dehydration was described. 94% of the infants were successfully treated by administering only ORT. There were no significant differences in the success rates for rotavirus diarrhea patients and for various bacterial diarrhea patients. Success rates were 92% for rotavirus patients, 93% for Escherichia coli patients, 96% for idiopathic diarrhea patients, and 100% for salmonella and shigella patients. Upon admission, the average duration of diarrhea was 2.9 days, vomiting was present 88% of the cases, and all patients exhibited some signs of dehydration. The infants were administered the oral formula recommended by the World Health Organization. Patients received 400 ml of oral solution followed by 200 ml of water. The treatment was repeated until skin tuger was normal. 34% of the infants were rehydrated within 6 hours and 76% within 20 hours. Patients were admitted with a variety of electrolyte abnormalies. 24% had hyponatraemia, 27% had hypokalaemia, and 23% had hypernatraemia. Sodium levels were improved within 24 hours for all patients except for 5 hyponataemia patients. Although rotavirus patients had higher stool glucose concentrations than the other patients, they apparently absorbed enough of the solution to rehydrate successfully. Specific data on changes in weight, plasma protins, hematocrit, blood composition, and stool composition and on therapeutic failures was provided. Investigators concluded that ORT was a safe and effective form of therapy for both rotavirus and bacterial diarrhea and for severe cases of dehydration.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Bacterial Infections / therapy*
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Rotavirus
  • Virus Diseases / therapy*
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance