Tuesday, April 23, 2019

VIDEO: Rotavirus Causes Severe Diarrhea in Kids

Editor's Note: This video is part of a monthly Texas Medical Association series highlighting infectious diseases that childhood and adult vaccinations can prevent. MeAndMyDoctor.com will post a video about a different disease each month. Some of the diseases featured will include: Flu, Measles, Pneumococcal disease, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Chickenpox and shingles, Hepatitis A, Pertussis (whooping cough), Rubella (also known as German measles), Polio, Mumps, and Tetanus.

TMA designed the series to inform people of the facts about these diseases and to help them understand the benefits of vaccinations to prevent illness. Visit the TMA website to see news releases and more information about these diseases, as well as physicians' efforts to raise immunization awareness.

In this short video, San Antonio pediatrician and Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician leader Ryan Van Ramshorst, MD, weighs in on rotavirus: who is most affected, the most common symptoms, and the vaccinations most effective in preventing the disease.

Rotavirus is a viral infection of the stomach and intestines. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydration and persistent diarrhea. It is the leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide  – especially children under two years of age. Rotavirus can spread by coming into contact with an infected person's stool, or poop. Children between the ages of 3 months to 3 years are the most at-risk to contracting rotavirus, especially those who attend child care centers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Before the rotavirus vaccine was introduced in 2006, almost all children in the U.S. were infected with rotavirus at some point before their 5th birthday, according to the CDC. This resulted in more than 400,000 doctor visits, more than 200,000 emergency room visits, and an average of 20 to 60 deaths annually. Each year, the vaccine prevents up to 50,000 hospitalizations among infants and young children in the U.S.

There are two rotavirus vaccines infants can receive in the U.S. The CDC recommends infants get either the RotaTeq (RV5) vaccine or the Rotarix (RV1) vaccine  – both given in multiple doses before the child's first birthday. Both of these vaccines are oral, given as drops in the child's mouth. The CDC reports nine out of 10 children who get the vaccine will be protected from rotavirus.

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