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What is a rotavirus?

Rotaviruses cause serious (nosocomial) intestinal infections, particularly in infants and young children aged 6 months to 2 years. These viruses are one of the most common causes of gastrointestinal diseases in children. The virus exists worldwide and is very stable in the environment; in water, for example, it can survive for several weeks. The disease occurs seasonally in humans, predominantly in the months of February to April.

How is the rotavirus transmitted?

The rotavirus is readily transmitted faecal-orally through smear infections. It can be absorbed through direct contact with contaminated people, and can also be absorbed through contaminated water and food, or through contaminated objects and surfaces. It has been proven that 10 particles are already sufficient to infect an infant with the virus.

What are symptoms of the disease?

The incubation period of the pathogen is 1 to 3 days. Then suddenly symptoms such as vomiting or watery diarrhoea mixed with mucus appear. Accompanying complaints are often fever and abdominal pain. The disease is usually more severe in infants and young children than infections caused by other pathogens. Acute symptoms usually last for 2 to 6 days, often leading to dehydration from fluid loss. Dehydration can lead to death if not treated. After the symptoms have subsided, patients continue to excrete the pathogens in the stool for up to 8 days. During this time, they can infect other people.

Significance for infections in hospitals and in the outpatient sector

Rotaviruses are among the pathogens that must be reported in Germany. They play an important role both as triggers for nosocomial outbreaks and in the hospitalization of infected people and, along with noroviruses and campylobacter bacteria, regularly lead the statistics as triggers of gastrointestinal infections.

Survival time of pathogens on inanimate surfaces

6 to 60 days

Disinfectant effectiveness for prevention

The necessary spectrum of activity against rotaviruses: limited virucidal PLUS

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