Your Cart Is Empty!
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
A rotavirus is a virus that infects the stomach and bowel. It is spread by infected children who do not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet. They may then leave tiny samples of infected faeces on surfaces or utensils, which can be picked up by another child. Small droplets of infected faeces can be carried in the air, which children can breathe in.
How common is rotavirus gastroenteritis?
Rotavirus gastroenteritis is extremely common in children. It is estimated that every child will have at least one rotavirus infection before the age of five. Most infections occur among children aged between three months and three years.
Rotavirus gastroenteritis is more common during winter and spring. The first infection tends to be the most severe, because the body builds up immunity (resistance) to the virus afterwards. This is why rotavirus infections are extremely rare in adults.
The rotavirus is highly contagious among children with no immunity to the virus. Even if your child has had a previous infection, they may not have built up full immunity. There are also different strains of the virus that your child may not be immune to.
Rotavirus can be life threatening for children and immune compromised adults. Current rotaviral vaccines are highly effective in the Western world, but not so much in developing countries. However, researchers from the University of Tokyo are using a specially engineered rice to change that.
Researchers have developed a strain of rice that produces a rotavirus-specific antibody. Both normal and immune deficient mice that were fed the engineered rice were protected against rotavirus. The researchers also report that the rice maintains its efficacy even after long-term storage and heat exposure.
SOURCE: HSE and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, August 2013