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HHS HealthBeat (September 25, 2012)

Rotavirus around the world

A mother comforts her sick daughter.
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Symptoms of Rotavirus

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

People have a lot in common worldwide, even when they don’t want to. At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Roger Glass has been studying the most common cause of childhood diarrhea, rotavirus:

“It’s a huge problem. It’s a universal problem. All kids have it, rich or poor, black or white, Chinese or American or African. We all share the same common infection.”

In the United States, rotavirus used to cause 50,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations, and dozens of deaths, each year – before vaccines were introduced. Dr. Glass says the hospitalization rate was cut 95 percent since then.

Studies show the vaccine is also effective in poor countries, but more global support is needed to reach every child.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: September 25, 2012