Each year, rotavirus affects millions of children worldwide. In most cases the gastroenteritis follows a relatively benign course,but its high incidence and potential for fatality make it a major public health problem. Rotavirus, an RNA virus, attacks the small intestine’s villi tips where the secretion of digestive enzymes and the absorption of water and electrolytes take place. The crypt cells, which are relatively uninvolved in this infection, continue with the net secretion of water and electrolytes. The resulting imbalance produces secretory and malabsorptive diarrhea.

Rotavirus infections strike most commonly during the winter months in temperate climates. In tropical parts of the world, the seasonal variation is less pronounced. The virus spreads from human to human primarily via the fecal-oral route. In addition, fomites serve as an important vector, as the virus displays its own brand of virulence by remaining infective long after shedding. Rotavirus has been isolated on toys, water...

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