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Rotavirus in Children

In children, rotavirus is an all-too-common illness; the virus results in the hospitalization of approximately 55,000 to 70,000 children each year in the United States. Common symptoms that develop in children include high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Currently, there is no medication that can kill the virus, but a new vaccine may help to prevent the virus in children.

Children and Rotavirus: An Introduction

Rotavirus is a virus that can cause severe diarrhea, usually accompanied by fever and vomiting. Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhea in infants and young children in the United States and worldwide.
Rotavirus results in the hospitalization of approximately 55,000 to 70,000 children each year in the United States and in the death of over 600,000 children annually worldwide. Almost all children in the United States are likely to be infected with rotavirus before their fifth birthday.
Other names that people use to describe a rotavirus infection in children include:

Understanding Rotavirus in Children

Rotaviruses are members of the Reoviridae family of viruses. A rotavirus has a characteristic wheel-like appearance when viewed by electron microscopy. The name rotavirus is derived from the Latin word "rota," meaning "wheel" (see Rotavirus Pictures).
There are a number of different strains of rotavirus that can cause infections in children; four strains are common in the United States. Children can be infected with rotavirus more than once, but usually, the first infection is the most severe, and subsequent infections causes less severe symptoms of the disease.
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