Thursday, June 26, 2008

RotaTeq Very Effective Against Rotavirus

The Los Angeles Times reports that RotaTeq vaccine for rotavirus has been very successful. The most recent onset of the rotavirus season was delayed by three months and reduced in severity by about half thanks to the virus, according to the CDC.

Rotavirus is the leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea in children in the U.S. and globally. In the U.S., it leads to more than 400,000 visits to doctors' offices, 272,000 emergency room trips, up to 70,000 hospitalizations, and 20 to 60 deaths. Globally, more than 500,000 children die from rotavirus each year.

Rotateq, on the other hand, can prevent rotavirus infections in 74 percent of cases. It also eliminates 98 percent of severe infections and 96 percent of hospitalizations. For these reasons, the CDC recommends that infants receive their first vaccination at 12 weeks and two more by 32 weeks of age. RotaTeq is made by Merck.

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