A national outbreak of rotavirus was declared by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health after some 1,000 cases were reported nationwide during the past two weeks. 16 children have died as a result of the gastrointestinal disease.



According to a Radio New Zealand report today, the Health Ministry says the outbreaks have been reported in six provinces, including Guadalcanal, Western Province, Choiseul, Malaita, Central and Makira.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rotavirus disease is most common in infants and young children, but adults and older children can also become infected with rotavirus. Once a person has been exposed to rotavirus, it takes about 2 days for symptoms to appear.

Rotavirus is shed (passed from a person’s body into the environment) in feces (stool) of infected persons. The virus spreads by the fecal-oral route; this means that the virus must be shed by an infected person and then enter a susceptible person’s mouth to cause infection.

Rotavirus vaccination is the best way to protect children against rotavirus disease. The vaccines are very effective at preventing severe rotavirus disease in infants and young children. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page