Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Rotavirus outbreak

Salvadoran health officials have declared a state of emergency as a result of a wave of cases of diarrhea affecting the children of the country. More than 43,175 cases have been reported, and the outbreak has taken the life of at least 20 children reports La Prensa. There is more information in this article at the web site of the Tropical Medical Bureau.

Most of the cases of diarrhea in El Salvador are cause by the rotavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the highly infectious disease can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration. Rotavirus is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated water or food and contact with contaminated surfaces. It is very common in both the developed and the developing world, but only in poor countries like El Salvador, where access to medical care may be limited, is it often fatal.




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