Meaning of Rotavirus

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    Rotavirus is a contagious virus that can cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). Symptoms include fever, watery diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal paid. Infants and young children are most likely to get this disease. They can become intensely dehydrated and may need to be hospitalized. Symptoms of dehydration include decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up, crying with few or no tears and unusual sleepiness or fussiness. Children who are infected with rotavirus shed the virus in their stool (poop). This is how the virus gets into the environment and can infect other people. People shed rotavirus the most, and are more likely to infect others, when they have symptoms and during the first 3 days after they recover. People with rotavirus can also infect others before they have symptoms. If you get rotavirus particles in your mouth, you can get sick. This can happen if you put your unwashed hands that are contaminated with poop into your mouth; touch contaminated objects or surfaces then put your fingers in your mouth and eat contaminated food. Rotavirus has a characteristic wheel-like appearance when viewed by an electron microscope. The name rotavirus is derived from the Latin word rota, meaning “wheel.” Rotaviruses are non-enveloped, double-shelled viruses. Most unvaccinated children become infected with rotavirus by age 3.
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