Treatment and Prevention of Rotavirus Infection in Children
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Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of severe diarrhea disease in infants and young children worldwide and continues to have a major global impact on childhood morbidity and mortality. No antiviral therapy is available. Treatment of rotavirus gastroenteritis is limited to rehydration therapy. Recently, therapies, such as probiotics, have been developed as adjuncts to rehydration therapy. Two effective rotavirus vaccines are available and recommended for routine immunization of all infants. These vaccines have been introduced in both developed and developing countries. As rotavirus vaccines are implemented, studies that assess health impact, indirect benefits, and strain changes after the introduction of rotavirus vaccine have been reported. In the United States, rotavirus vaccination has led to dramatic drops in severe rotavirus-related hospitalizations and has reduced emergency room visits. Herd immunity has also been noted after routine rotavirus immunization. There have been no significant strain shifts or escape mutants noted since the introduction of rotavirus vaccines.
KeywordsRotavirus Rotavirus vaccine Rotavirus gastroenteritis Rotavirus surveillance
Dr. Dennehy is currently receiving a research grant from Merck and Company and previously had received research grants from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.
Conflict of Interest
Dr. P. Dennehy’s institution has received grant support from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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