News / Health

Rotavirus Kills 500,000 Children Annually Despite Vaccine

Fatal outcomes more likely in developing countries

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

Vaccines against rotavirus, a leading cause of diarrhea-related deaths among young children, first became available in 2006. However, a new study indicates vaccination has been slow to blunt the spread of the infection.

A Sudanese child receives the rotavirus vaccine.
A Sudanese child receives the rotavirus vaccine.

The study combines findings from numerous other studies as well as data collected in a World Health Organization-coordinated program, the Global Rotavirus Surveillance Network.

Study co-author Umesh Parashar, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says rotavirus infection is common throughout the world.

But he points out that children in richer countries usually get proper treatment if they get sick.

"In contrast, in developing countries, you get a lot more fatal outcomes," he says. "And this latest analysis that we have just completed, indicates there are about 453,000 deaths from rotavirus diarrhea globally."

Of the nearly half-million rotavirus deaths each year among children younger than age five, India alone accounted for almost 100,000. Add in Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and those five nations account for more than half the rotavirus deaths worldwide.

Researchers wanted to establish a baseline of rotavirus-related deaths prior to the introduction of vaccines, which were licensed in 2006 but were just starting to be used in the timeframe covered by the study. Vaccinated populations were not included in this study.

Parashar says the vaccines were initially limited to more developed countries, because more testing was needed before they could be used in resource-poor settings.

"In 2009, we actually had data available from these clinical trials in Africa and Asia, and then the World Health Organization expanded to a global recommendation for rotavirus vaccines. So the vaccines are just about to be rolled out over the next two years."

The authors of this new paper say that as the vaccine is rolled out in the developing countries, rotavirus-related deaths should be substantially reduced.

"And so it really highlights the need to introduce these vaccines so we can really reap the full reward of vaccination in reducing diarrheal mortality."

Umesh Parashar and colleagues published the results of their study online in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More