The Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported today (computer translated) a rotavirus outbreak that has sickened a number of newborns in the MizMedi Hospital nursery.

South Korea

Health officials report 7 out of 29 newborns were confirmed positive for rotavirus. The infected babies are being treated in isolation.

The Gangseo-gu Public Health Center is undergoing epidemiological survey. Human and environmental samples are being tested.

Rotavirus disease is most common in infants and young children, but adults and older children can also become infected with rotavirus.

It is responsible for the death of over 600,000 children annually worldwide. 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.