Vaccine Slashes Hospital Stays for Diarrhea
Use of the rotavirus vaccine has dramatically reduced hospital stays for severe diarrhea among young children, a new study says. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did the study. The first rotavirus vaccine was approved in 2006. Before that, the CDC said, this virus caused 55,000 to 70,000 hospital stays each year among U.S. children under age 5. About 20 to 60 children died each year. But those numbers dropped off rapidly. By the 2009-2010 season, hospital stays for rotavirus were down 94%, the CDC study found. Visits to the emergency room and doctors' offices for diarrhea also plummeted. Even children who had not been vaccinated were less likely to have rotavirus illness. That's because less of the virus was circulating, the study noted. Two rotavirus vaccines are now in use. Both are given by mouth.