Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Rotavirus warning: Dangerous sickness spreads across Europe – Threat to UK imminent

The disease, which causes diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, is being reported at worryingly high rates in Germany. 

Some federal states are already reporting 40 per cent more infections than last year – before winter has even begun when cases routinely soar. 

During cold weather the rotavirus spreads faster and the number of cases is expected to surge over winter. 

In the UK about one in 10 of infected children require hospital treatment as a result of complications, usually from severe dehydration.

A further one in five need to see their doctor, but the majority recover at home.

The virus is currently particularly prevalent in northern Germany, especially Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.

Vaccines are being recommended by health officials in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Washing hands regularly and thoroughly is also recommended. 

he UK government has issued its own statement in the event of a outbreak in Britain. 

It listed the symptoms and advise for dealing with rotavirus. 

The statement said: “Rotavirus causes gastroenteritis. The symptoms include severe watery diarrhoea, usually with vomiting, fever, and stomach cramps.

“Infants and young children are most at risk of rotavirus disease, as they can become severely dehydrated and may require hospitalisation. 

“The symptoms usually last from three to eight days. Adults may become infected but repeat infections are generally less severe than infections during childhood.

“Rotavirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in infants and very young children. A rotavirus vaccine was introduced to the national vaccination schedule for babies in 2013, alongside other routine childhood immunisations. 

“Babies receive two doses of vaccine at eight and 16 weeks of age. The amount of rotavirus among infants has declined following use of the vaccine.”

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