Communicable Diseases

Rotaviral Enteritis


A sporadic, seasonal, often severe gastroenteritis of infants and young children, characterized by vomiting, fever and watery diarrhea. Rotaviral enteritis is occasionally associated with severe dehydration and death in young children. Secondary symptomatic cases among adult family contacts can occur, although subclinical infections are more common. Rotavirus infection has occasionally been found in pediatric patients with a variety of other clinical manifestations, but the virus is probably coincidental rather than causative in these conditions. Rotavirus is a major cause of nosocomial diarrhea of newborns and infants. Although rotavirus diarrhea is generally more severe than acute diarrhea due to other agents, illness caused by rotavirus is not distinguishable from that caused by other enteric viruses for any individual patient.

EM, ELISA, LA and other immunological techniques for which commercial kits are available can identify rotavirus in stool specimens or rectal swabs. Evidence of rotavirus infection can be demonstrated by serological techniques, but diagnosis is usually based on the demonstration of rotavirus antigen in stools. False-positive ELISA reactions are common in newborns; positive reactions require confirmation by an alternative test.

Rotaviral Enteritis has been found in Communicable Diseases

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