Rotavirus infection is most dangerous in infants and young children. Most adults experience less severe symptoms, but adults with compromised immune systems and older adults are also susceptible to developing dehydration. Rotavirus disease is particularly dangerous and deadly in areas with poor sanitation and limited health care, and can leave infected children susceptible to other infections and prone to malnourishment. The virus is usually spread from person to person due to poor hygiene, but it may also be acquired from contaminated objects and surfaces or from contaminated food and water. Infant vaccination is recommended to prevent the disease. Infection may occur despite vaccination or a prior infection, but the disease is typically less severe in these instances.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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