Have you heard of rotavirus? It’s a fairly common disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Most people who get rotavirus report symptoms during the months of January through May. Adults with strong immune systems who get rotavirus may not even notice that they have the disease. But in young children, rotavirus can be deadly. Every day about 1,600 children around the world die from rotavirus and even more children are made severely ill.
Take Rotavirus Seriously
Rotavirus can be deadly for young children because it causes severe dehydration. Young children may not be able to replace the fluid they lose from diarrhea and vomiting quickly enough to prevent their bodies from feeling the effects of dehydration. Emergency care is often needed to restore fluids quickly. For some children, emergency care is not enough.
Vaccinate Your Child
A vaccine can protect your child from rotavirus. The vaccine is easy to administer and only requires two or three doses, depending on the particular brand of vaccine used. Children start to receive doses of the vaccine when they are two months old and complete the vaccine course by the time they are six months old.
The Vaccine Really Works
The vaccine first became available for widespread use in the U.S. in 2006. Before 2006, rotavirus caused about 55,000 children to be hospitalized, another 200,000 children to seek emergency medical care, and even more children to become ill. After 2006, emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to rotavirus dropped dramatically — from 80 to 100 percent. Vaccination is an easy, simple way you can prevent your child from becoming a victim of rotavirus.
For more information:
Rotavirus Vaccination (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)