Rotavirus Facts

Rotavirus Facts
Rotavirus is a common but severe diarrhea disease that commonly affects infants and younger children, and it is believed that every child experiences it at least one time before their fifth birthday if they have not been vaccinated. With each infection of rotavirus the person develops more immunity (if they survive) - making every subsequent infection less bothersome. Most adults are not affected by it. There are a total of eight Rotavirus species beginning with A and ending with H. The most common, accounting for 90+% of all Rotavirus cases is Rotavirus A. Vaccination for Rotavirus is common in developed countries, but in countries where vaccines are not given, death can still occur. Approximately 215,000 children died from Rotavirus in 2013, which accounts for 37% of childhood deaths due to diarrhea disease.
Interesting Rotavirus Facts:
2004 estimates by the World Health organization stated that approximately 527,000 children die each year from Rotavirus, which is preventable with vaccination programs.
There are two oral vaccinations available - RotaTeq and Rotarix.
The World Health Organization made the recommendation that any country that experiences more than 10% mortality in children younger than 5 from Rotavirus should vaccinate all infants.
Methods to reduce the spread of Rotavirus include proper sanitation and hygiene, supplementation with zinc, and the use of oral rehydration solutions when it does occur.
Signs of Rotavirus include vomiting, nausea, very watery diarrhea, and often a low level fever.
The incubation for Rotavirus is usually two days after infection. Following the onset of symptoms, severe diarrhea occurs for up to eight days.
The most dangerous symptoms of Rotavirus are diarrhea and dehydration - which lead to death if rehydration does not occur.
Because the body builds immunity over time, by the age of 45 most people do not experience symptoms if they come into contact with the virus again.
Rotavirus is most concerning for infants 6 months to 2 years old, for the elderly, and for those with compromised immune systems.
In order to contract Rotavirus an individual must touch a contaminated surface, object, or body part such as a hand that has fecal matter present. It may also be transmitted through the respiratory route.
In order to contract Rotavirus there needs to be fewer than 100 infectious particles. One gram of infected feces can contain 10 trillion infectious particles. This is the reason that hand washing is so important to reduce the spread of such diseases.
In order to diagnose Rotavirus A, a person is usually diagnosed with gastroenteritis in the hospital following admittance for severe diarrhea. The stool must be tested for the presence of Rotavirus.
Rehydration is the most common treatment, through the use of water that contains salt and sugar. Zinc is also sometimes used. Some treatment plans also include probiotic use which has been helpful to reduce the length of illness.
Rotavirus can't be treated with drugs or antibiotics. It is so easily spread that sanitation has very little effect on decreasing incidents of Rotavirus.
Vaccination has proven to be the best method to avoiding Rotavirus disease.

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