Latin American countries begin introducing rotavirus vaccines

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 out of 14 Caribbean and Latin American countries that have introduced the rotavirus vaccine into their national immunization programs are participating in a rotavirus surveillance network.
Data from some of the countries and from other monitoring efforts in the Caribbean and Latin American countries have shown declines in deaths and hospitalizations related to severe diarrhea after introducing the rotavirus vaccine, Hispanically Speaking News reports.
As of June 1, the rotavirus vaccine had been introduced into the national childhood immunization programs of 14 of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries. In 2010, coverage with rotavirus vaccines among children aged one year or less in the 11 countries that had introduced the vaccine before 2010 ranged from 49 to 98 percent.
Rotavirus disease is the leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality related to diarrhea in the Caribbean and Latin America. It is estimated that an estimated 8,000 deaths occur related to rotavirus diarrhea annually among children aged five-years-old and under in the region.
According to the CDC, rotavirus symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vomiting and watery diarrhea may last three to eight days in a child infected with rotavirus. Other symptoms include loss of appetite and dehydration, which can be particularly harmful for infants and young children.