Source: Los Angeles Times
By: Kaplan, Karen
Older children and adults, not just infants, had a lower likelihood of hospitalization from rotavirus after a vaccine was introduced in the United States in 2006, new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows. Rotavirus causes “severe watery diarrhea, often with vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain,” the CDC reports, and before the RotaTeq and Rotarix vaccines were available, nearly all U.S. children became infected with rotavirus before age five. Across the globe, half a million children under age five die annually from rotavirus. The study found that among children under age four, the incidence of rotavirus dropped by 80 percent between the pre-vaccine years of 2000-2006 and the post-vaccine years of 2008-2010. Researchers also saw a 70 percent drop in rotavirus for children ages five to 14 and a 53 percent drop for patients between the ages of 15 and 24. The research included data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, which tracks hospital patients. The results are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.