According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 453,000 child deaths worldwide due to the rotavirus in 2008. Rotavirus, the kids’ version of stomach flu, is a vaccine-preventable disease that has been expensive to manufacture until now. According the the BBC News, an Indian manufacturer has indicated that they can produce the vaccine for 54 rupees (which equals about a dollar) instead of the 1,000 rupees that international vaccine manufacturers like GlaxsoSmithKline charge.
What is Rotavirus? Stomach Flu Variant
Rotavirus is a virus that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This highly-contagious stomach flu virus is spread via the fecal/oral route. When changing a sick baby’s diaper, the virus which is found in the stool can come into contact with your hands. If you don’t wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, you can become infected or pass the virus on to others.
Stomach Flu Symptoms in Kids
Signs and symptoms of rotavirus include watery diarrhea vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Rotavirus can quickly lead to severe dehydration in young children, and is the leading cause of diarrhea in young children. Nearly all children will be exposed to rotavirus by their fifth birthday.
According to Kid’s Health, rotavirus outbreaks normally occur in the spring and winter, and the virus is easily passed to other children and sometimes adults. Once the child is exposed to the virus, it takes about two days before they become sick, and vomiting and diarrhea can last up to eight days. Some children, especially infants and toddlers may need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous fluids (IV) to raise their electrolytes levels.