What is Rotavirus?
Until 1973, no infectious agents could be identified in about 80% of patients admitted to hospitals with severe dehydrating diarrhea. In 1973, Ruth Bishop, Geoffrey Davidson, Ian Holmes, and Brian Ruck found abundant particles of a 'new' virus called rotavirus in the cytoplasm of mature epithelial cells.
Rotavirus affects majorly the stomach and intestines. Rotavirus causes extreme dehydration and diarrhea among children, leading to hospitalization and even death. There are 8 types of Rotavirus: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H. Rotavirus A is the most common type and is the source of 90% of rotavirus cases.
Rotavirus mainly affects infants and small children, but if not handled correctly, can spread to anyone. Rotavirus is most common in third-world countries, but still occurs in countries such as the US and European countries. Each year, approximately 111 million people have gastroenteritis requiring only home care, 25 million clinic visits, 2 million hospitalizations, and 352,000–592,000 deaths (median, 440,000 deaths) in children <5 years of age.
Signs and Symptoms
- Severe or bloody diarrhea
- Frequent episodes of vomiting
- A temperature of 103 degrees F or higher
- Lethargy, irritability, or pain
- Signs of dehydration
- Blood in vomit