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CDC Urges Parents to Vaccinate Children Against Rotavirus

Polio Drops VaccineA new study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that, since introducing the rotavirus vaccine in 2006, 65,000 fewer American children have been hospitalized. Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and children.

The CDC study found that 89 percent fewer rotavirus-based hospitalizations occurred in children who had been vaccinated compared to unvaccinated children.

According to senior researcher R. Umesh Parashar, a medical epidemiologist and team leader of the viral gastroenteritis team at the CDC in Atlanta:

“Diarrhea causes by rotavirus is one of the most common illnesses in children. It’s usually self-limited and treated at home, but before the vaccine was introduced, the virus was responsible for about 200,000 emergency room visits and 400,000 physician office visits a year.”

The study revealed that, before inoculations began in 2006, rotavirus-related deaths in children 5-years-old and younger claimed the lives of 20 to 60 patients per year.

For parents who have read about problems with the rotavirus vaccination, which was pulled from the market in 1998 due to a developing condition called intussusception, which caused the bowel to fold into itself, CDC officials say the new inoculation is based on a safer design.

The full CDC study will appear in the September 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

References

CDC: Rotavirus vaccine cuts kids’ hospitalization rates: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011-09-22/Rotavirus-vaccine-cuts-kids-hospitalization-rates/50514052/1

Image Credits

Polio Drops Vaccine: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poliodrops.jpg

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