The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 215,000 child deaths occurred globally from rotavirus in 2013, predominately in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rotavirus is caused by the Reoviridae virus, which is transmitted through the fecal-oral route. The virus causes the inflammation of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis), leading to diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, among other symptoms. There is no specific medicinal treatment for rotavirus, but it can be contained through proper sanitation and hygiene. Two lifelong rotavirus vaccines were developed in 2006 and have since shown to be highly effective in disease prevention, more than halving the number of cases since 2000. As a result of the vaccine’s success, WHO recommends they be included in all national immunisation programs.
A rotavirus outbreak took place in the Solomon Islands in April-June 2014. This outbreak was assisted by severe local flooding, but no rotavirus vaccine was available for distribution. Due to global warming, the severity and frequency of similar extreme weather-related events is likely to increase, reinforcing the need for global rotavirus vaccinations to prevent similar outbreaks.
Model name: UNIVAC (Hib, rotavirus and pneumo model)
Model name: Lives Saved Tool (LiST) (Hib, rotavirus and pneumo model)
Model name: Emory Rotavirus Vaccine Model
WHO fact sheet on rotavirus
CDC page on rotavirus
Gavi page on rotavirus