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Rotavirus

Definition

Rotavirus is an infection of the stomach and intestines. It is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children.
Rotavirus can easily pass from person to person.
Digestive Tract
Digestive tract
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Causes

A rotavirus infection is caused by a specific type of virus.
The virus is passed through the stool of someone with rotavirus. The infected stool can pass the virus to hands, surfaces, objects, food, or water. The virus then enters the body when any of these infected items come in contact with the mouth.

Risk Factors

People with the highest chance of rotavirus include:

Symptoms

Symptoms of rotavirus may vary from person to person but may include:
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. They often last about 3 to 8 days.

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The infection may be diagnosed based on your symptoms. A stool sample may be taken. The sample will be examined for the presence of the virus.

Treatment

There is no treatment for rotavirus itself. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics.
Some treatments may be needed for symptoms caused by the infection. For example, dehydration may need to be treated with:
For children, the doctor may advise probiotics. Probiotics may help reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea symptoms.

Prevention

Good hygiene is the best way to help reduce the spread of rotavirus. This includes taking the following steps:
There is a vaccine to prevent rotavirus in babies. Your baby may need two or three doses between the ages of 2-6 months.

RESOURCES

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES

About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

Rotavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/index.html. Updated May 12, 2014. Accessed November 3, 2014.

Rotavirus. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/vaccine-preventable-diseases/Pages/Rotavirus.aspx. Updated October 13, 2014. Accessed November 3, 2014.

Rotavirus gastroenteritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 7, 2013. Accessed February 20, 2013.

Rotavirus vaccine access and delivery. PATH website. Available at: http://sites.path.org/rotavirusvaccine. Accessed November 3, 2014.

Rotavirus Vaccine Live Oral. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 8, 2014. Accessed November 3, 2014.

12/14/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Leder K, Sinclair M, Forbes A, Wain D. Household clustering of gastroenteritis. Epidemiol Infect. 2009;137(12):1705-1712.

4/28/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Sindhu KN, Sowmyanarayanan TV, et al. Immune response and intestinal permeability in children with acute gastroenteritis treated with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;58(8):1107-1115.

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