Rotavirus not just young kids' problem

Sept. 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

ATLANTA, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Rotavirus disease is most common in infants and young children, but adults and older children can also become infected, U.S. health officials say.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said once a person has been exposed to rotavirus, it takes about two days for symptoms to appear. Symptoms include:

-- Fever.

-- Vomiting.

-- Diarrhea.

-- Abdominal pain.

Vomiting and watery diarrhea may last from three to eight days in a child infected with rotavirus. Additional symptoms include loss of appetite and dehydration -- loss of body fluids -- which can be especially harmful for infants and young children, health officials said.

Transmission of the disease is generally through contact with contaminated hands, surfaces and objects, and possibly via respiratory transfer.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated children may develop rotavirus disease more than once because there are many different types of rotavirus and because neither vaccine nor natural infection provides full immunity from future infections, the CDC said.

However, usually a person's first infection with rotavirus causes the most severe symptoms.

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