Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Rotavirus infection facts
- What is rotavirus?
- What causes rotavirus infection?
- What are risk factors for rotavirus infection?
- What are rotavirus symptoms and signs?
- How is rotavirus infection spread?
- How is rotavirus infection diagnosed?
- How is rotavirus infection treated?
- What is the prognosis of rotavirus infection?
- Can rotavirus infection be prevented with a vaccine? Are any side effects associated with the rotavirus vaccine?
- Patient Comments: Rotavirus - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Rotavirus - Symptoms
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Rotavirus infection facts
- Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children throughout the world.
- Most unvaccinated children become infected with rotavirus by age 3.
- There are different strains of rotavirus, and multiple infections by different strains may occur.
- Rotavirus causes fever, vomiting, and watery diarrhea.
- Rotavirus infection is highly contagious.
- Rotavirus illness typically resolves on its own after three to nine days.
- Vaccines to prevent rotavirus infection are available.
What is rotavirus?
Rotavirus is a virus that infects the bowels. Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children throughout the world and causes the death of about 500,000 children worldwide annually. The name rotavirus comes from the characteristic wheel-like appearance of the virus when viewed by electron microscopy (the name rotavirus is derived from the Latin rota, meaning "wheel").
Since 2006, vaccination has been available for rotavirus infection. Prior to the availability of a vaccine, almost all children became infected with rotavirus by their third birthday. Repeat infections with different viral strains are possible, and most children had several episodes of rotavirus infection in the first years of life. After several infections with different strains of the virus, children acquire immunity to rotavirus. Babies and toddlers between the ages of 6 and 24 months are at greatest risk for developing severe disease from rotavirus infection. Adults sometimes become infected, but the resulting illness is usually mild.
Each year in the U.S., prior to the development of the rotavirus vaccine, rotavirus infection resulted in the hospitalization of an estimated 55,000 children, 200,000 emergency-room visits, and approximately 500,000 visits to doctor's offices. Worldwide, rotavirus infection is still a significant cause of death in infants and children. Rotavirus affects populations in all socioeconomic groups and is equally prevalent in industrialized and developing countries, so differences in sanitation practices or water supply are not likely to affect the incidence of the infection.
In the U.S., rotavirus infections usually peak in the fall months in the Southwest and spread to the Northeast by spring, so infections are most common during the winter months from November to May. However, infection with rotavirus can occur anytime of the year.
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