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Rev Infect Dis. 1991 May-Jun;13(3):448-61.

Survival and vehicular spread of human rotaviruses: possible relation to seasonality of outbreaks.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


In developing countries rotavirus infections account for nearly 6% of all diarrheal episodes and for 20% of diarrhea-associated deaths of young children. Even in industrialized countries rotavirus diarrhea in the young is among the leading causes of hospitalization. In temperate regions institutional outbreaks of the disease occur mainly in cold dry weather, whereas in tropical settings the seasonality is less well defined. Waterborne outbreaks of rotavirus gastroenteritis have been recorded; air, hands, fomities, and food may also act as vehicles for this infection. Rotaviruses can survive for weeks in potable and recreational waters and for at least 4 hours on human hands. In air and on nonporous inanimate surfaces, the survival of rotaviruses is favored by a relative humidity of less than or equal to 50% and viral infectivity can be retained for several days. Rotaviruses are relatively resistant to commonly used hard-surface disinfectants and hygienic hand-wash agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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