Student Presentation on Rotavirus
Rotavirus is a wheel-shaped double stranded RNA virus. It is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. It is believed that by the age of 4 most children in the United States have experience this infection and have developed immunity to severe disease caused by rotavirus. Individuals that are known to be at increased risk with complication of dehydration due to this viral disease include malnourished children as well as malnourished adults especially in the developing countries and the elderly that have a weakened immune system as they age. According to the Lancet, rotavirus is still believed to be the most recognized cause of diarrhea in
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Rotavirus belongs to the group of diseases that can infect an individual with a small inoculum size. It requires as few as ten infection particles to cause an infection. Rotavirus is also excreted in stools at levels that can range up to 109 infectious particles/milliliter of stool. Outbreaks of the virus can be contributed to most contamination of a common source. This includes municipal or well water supplies or even food borne contamination. One such example for this sort of contamination could be found in the Journal of American Medical Association where an outbreak of rotavirus occurred at a university in the District of Columbia. About 85 students were affected and the major cause of their infection was due to food poisoning from the university cafeteria. They were infected by consumption of sandwiches from a dining hall in the first week and afterwards the virus spread through person-to-person contact when the infected students ate at different dining halls. The direct origin was not found but it was suspected that the food preparors were probably positive for rotavirus and were responsible for its spread into the students.
Rotaviruses are classified in the Reoviridae family. They are nonenveloped, wheel-shaped viruses whose genome comprise of 11 segments of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and are contained in the core of the mature, triple-layered, icosahedral-structured particle. The virion is