Rotavirus Infections in Children

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Rotavirus is a contagious virus. Among children, it's the leading cause of severe diarrhea. In some infants and children, diarrhea may be so severe that they become dehydrated and require emergency care or hospitalization.

  • usually spreads because of improper hand-washing
  • a vaccine helps prevent it in infants
  • most children will be infected by the time they are 3
  • causes as many as 55,000 children are hospitalized each year in the United States
  • peaks in winter and spring
  • may live on hard surfaces such as toys and door knobs for some time
  • treatment goal is to prevent complications from dehydration

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches rotavirus
The Children's Hospital Informatics Program created HealthMap, an online resource and smart phone app that helps track the spread of contagious diseases in real time, including rotavirus.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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