Rotavirus not being stopped by vaccines

New data suggests that vaccines against rotavirus, a leading cause of diarrhea-related deaths among children, have done little to stop the spread of infection.

Information collected from numerous studies as well as data collected from the World Health Organization’s Global Rotavirus Surveillance Network has shown how common rotavirus infection has become throughout the world, according to

A co-author of the new study, Umesh Parashar, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also pointed out that children in more affluent countries tend to get proper treatment if they become infected.

"In contrast, in developing countries, you get a lot more fatal outcomes," Parashar said, reports. "And this latest analysis that we have just completed, indicates there are about 453,000 deaths from rotavirus diarrhea globally."

India alone accounted for nearly 100,000 of the 500,000 deaths of children under the age of five caused by rotavirus. Including Pakistan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, the number jumps to 250,000.

Vaccines against rotavirus were introduced in 2006 but were initially limited to more developed countries because more testing was needed to determine whether or not they could be used in more resource-poor settings.

"In 2009, we actually had data available from clinical trials in Africa and Asia, and then the World Health Organization expanded to a global recommendation for rotavirus vaccines. So the vaccines are just about to be rolled out over the next two years," Parashar said, according to VOANews.

Parashar said that as the vaccine is rolled out in the developing world, the number of deaths from rotavirus should be reduced significantly.