rotavirus

Measles, which still kills about 90,000 people around the world every year, isn't the only microbe making a comeback. Rotavirus could too, a bug that causes diarrhea and kills around 200,000 children under the age of five.

The CDC immunization schedule recommends that babies receive their first dose of rotavirus vaccine at the age of two months. However, only about 73% of American children have completed all doses. Once again, we are flirting with a preventable disaster....

Rotavirus infection is a very contagious, resulting in gastroenteritis, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea — sometimes severe enough to cause life-threatening dehydration. Thankfully, there are a couple of effective vaccines that have been available since 2006 in the United States, and now are available worldwide. Symptoms of a rotavirus infection typically appear within 2 days of acquiring the virus ( 'catching' the virus is usually via poor hygiene). Young children and infants with rotavirus infections may also develop a condition known as viremia — this occurs when the virus leaves the gastrointestinal...

When some of the public hears about vaccines today, they may think of Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent links to autism or Jenny McCarthy’s use of her Hollywood megaphone to polarize the issue as well as encourage the spread of an anti-vaccine movement.  

Truth be told, for a time public opinion did shift and philosophical exemptions boomed, primarily in states like California, Washington, and Oregon. Preventable diseases blossomed. 

As science stood largely silent, Dr. Paul Offit - Chief of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and long-time trustee and supporter of the American Council on Science and Health - took to the helm to fight the noble battle on behalf of children’s health and safety.  He...

Childhood vaccines via Shutterstock Childhood vaccines via Shutterstock

On the list of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, immunizations easily take the cake. As we have written before, since the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, gastroenteritis, or “stomach flu” is now considered a thing of the past. Yet still somehow there exist fruit...

78453764Rotavirus, which causes severe gastroenteritis, doesn t get the same degree of attention that others viruses like measles or chickenpox get, but it can be a troublesome infection especially for young children. The CDC lists a number of daunting statistics for children under 5. Rotavirus causes: 70,000 annual hospitalizations, more than 400,000 doctors visits and 200,000 emergency room visits. Furthermore, it is virtually certain that ALL children will have contracted a rotavirus infection before the age of 5. Worldwide, especially in areas where rehydration is...

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 12.16.25 PMOn rare occasions, a new vaccine or drug will work so well that a previously untreatable disease or condition quickly becomes a distant memory. It doesn t happen often, but when it does, the entire game changes in one inning.

Salk's polio vaccine and penicillin are obvious examples of game changing discoveries from the past, and the design of drugs to hold HIV in check and and other drugs to cure hepatitis C are recent examples.

Beginning eight years ago, rotavirus a ubiquitous childhood infection that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea became quite...

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 1.34.53 PMOne of the most common childhood illnesses, rotavirus, which infects almost 100 percent of children at one time or another, has been badly beaten down, thanks to the work of a host of researchers from the public and private sectors (including Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the ACSH board of directors, and chief of the division of infectious diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children s Hospital of Philadelphia), as well as three pharmaceutical companies: Wyeth, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

The virus, which causes diarrhea and...

vaccinationFor children in the developed world (and their parents), rotavirus a childhood equivalent to norovirus (the stomach flu) is very unpleasant, but usually self-limiting. However, the vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which often means a trip to the hospital.

Indeed, as we reported back in May, before the only two rotavirus vaccines were approved in 2006, (Rotarix by...

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Rotavirus is a scourge of infants and young children especially in the developing world as it can cause diarrhea and fatal dehydration. An effective vaccine has recently been developed (in part by ACSH trustee Dr. Paul Offit), but in some countries getting the vaccine delivered can be a serious obstacle, and people with impaired immune systems don t necessarily reap the benefit of immunization. A new genetically engineered variety of rice may help solve these issues.

A...