Understanding Rotavirus Infection and Transmission
Dr. Susanna Kharit, head of the department of infectious disease prevention at the Russian Scientific Center for Children and Infectious Diseases, explains that rotavirus infection typically occurs once or twice in a person’s lifetime.
Impact on Adults and Children
In an interview with Gazeta.Ru, Dr. Kharit emphasizes that while adults may experience mild symptoms like feeling they “ate something wrong,” young children are more vulnerable to the disease. The virus can lead to dehydration, which can cause harm to the heart, kidneys, and even result in seizures. However, even if children are infected, the illness usually remains mild.
The spread of rotavirus tends to increase during spring and summer. However, infection can also occur in other seasons.
Dr. Kharit highlights that rotavirus is primarily transmitted through feces and the oral cavity. It can also be transmitted to a lesser extent through aerosol.
The doctor cautions that individuals with a mild case of the virus or those who have recently had it continue to shed the virus in their stool. If they do not wash their hands properly after using the toilet, they can transmit the virus to themselves and others through contact with contaminated surfaces like door handles, telephones, and food. Another common route of transmission is through unwashed hands or consumption of contaminated fruits and vegetables.