Experts: Vaccinate babies against the Rotavirus

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Babies should be vaccinated against the Rotavirus, a number of experts said in the Volkskrant on Friday. Every year six or seven children in the Netherlands die after being infected with the virus and an estimated 5 thousand children a year end up in the hospital.

The Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis and most commonly affects babies and young children, though adults and older children can also catch it. According to the American Center for Disease Control, it presents with severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain that lasts from three to eight days. It can also cause loss of appetite and dehydration, which can be especially dangerous for babies and young children.

In 2010 a majority in the Netherlands' Health Council was in favor of adding the Rotavirus vaccination to the national vaccination program. But it did not happen because the virus does not affect enough people and has a relatively "low" death rate. According to the Volkskrant, Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health again asked for advice on adding the vaccination to the national program this summer.

A number of countries, including Belgium, Germany, England and the United States already vaccinate children against the Rotavirus.