What is a roter virus?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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Rotavirus is a genus of double-stranded RNA virus in the family Reoviridae. It is the leading, single cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.[1] By the age of five, nearly every child in the world has been infected with rotavirus at least once.[2] However, with each infection, immunity develops, subsequent infections are less severe,[3] and adults are rarely affected.[4] There are seven species of this virus, referred to as A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Rotavirus A, the most common, causes more than 90% of infections in humans. Rotavirus is transmitted by the faecal-oral route. It infects cells that line the small intestine and produces an enterotoxin, which induces gastroenteritis, leading to severe diarrhoea and sometimes death through dehydration. Although rotavirus was discovered in 1973[5] and accounts for up to 50% of hospitalisations for severe diarrhoea in infants and children,[6] its importance is still not widely known within the public health community, particularly in developing countries.[7] In addition to its impact on human health, rotavirus also infects animals, and is a pathogen of livestock.[8] More than 500,000 children under five years of age die from rotavirus infection each year,[9] and almost two million more become severely ill.[7] In the United States, rotavirus causes about 2.7 million cases of severe gastroenteritis in children, almost 60,000 hospitalisations, and around 37 deaths each year.[10] Public health campaigns to combat rotavirus focus on providing oral rehydration therapy for infected children and vaccination to prevent the disease.

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Q: What is a roter virus?
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