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What causes rotavirus and what does it mean?

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WHAT IS ROTAVIRUS?

It is a virus that causes childhood infectious gastroenteritis. Almost all children will have at least 1 rotavirus infection before age 5.

WHO IS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING IT?

  • It is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in young children around the world.
  • Children under the age of five are the people most at risk of getting sick, evolving to a serious condition, and dying.
  • Virtually every child under the age of five was infected with rotavirus at least once and the first infection usually occurs before age three.
  • In 2016 rotavirus was responsible for 128,500 deaths in children under the age of 5.
  • The incidence of rotavirus diarrhea is similar in developed and developing countries, where approximately one-third of severe gastroenteritis is attributable to rotavirus.

HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?

  • Direct fecal-oral contact is considered the most important way of transmission. The virus is highly infective and very stable in the environment: it can survive hours on the hands and even days on solid surfaces, and remains stable and infectious in human feces, for up to a week.
  • Human-to-human contagion through hands appears to be responsible for spreading the virus in closed environments, such as homes and hospitals.
  • Transmission between children in daycare is caused by direct contact and contaminated food or toys.
  • Good hygiene, such as hand washing and cleaning, is important, but it is not enough to control the spread of the disease. Primary prevention is the best strategy.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms appear approximately 2 days after the person is exposed to the virus.
  • Infected children may have
    • severe liquid diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Fever
    • abdominal pain

Vomiting and liquid diarrhea can last between 3 and 8 days.

  • Other possible symptoms include loss of appetite and dehydration (loss of bodily fluids), which can be especially dangerous for infants and young children.
  • Symptoms of dehydration:
    • urinate less,
    • dry mouth and throat,
    • feeling dizzy when standing,
    • crying without tears or with few tears, and
    • drowsiness or unusual irritation.
  • In adults who get sick with rotavirus, symptoms tend to be milder.

 

WHEN DO I CALL THE PEDIATRICIAN?

If your child has symptoms of rotavirus infection, such as watery diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting, call him or if your child has signs of dehydration.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT VACCINES AND CARE

  • At what age is the rotavirus vaccine applied? At 2, 4, and 6 months of age. It is important to note that vaccines should be complete BEFORE 8 months of age.
  • Where do you put the rotavirus vaccine? It is not applied anywhere, as both Rotarix® and RotaTeq® are administered orally, is not injected.
  • What type of vaccine is the rotavirus vaccine? There are two types of vaccines in Mexico, one made of live attenuated viruses containing a serotype of the virus and another with live viruses that were originally isolated and contains 5 serotypes.
  • Can my baby get rotavirus even with the vaccine? if the 4-week interval between each dose is not respected, the chances of rotavirus may increase. And yes, even though you’ve vaccinated your baby, 94 to 96 are the ones who will be fully protected from the virus without the possibility of hospitalization. You can read more here.

 

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