By: Sharon Kirkley, PostMedia News
04 October 2010
Pediatricians want to add another shot to the panoply of vaccines Canadian children receive, urging that every baby in the country be vaccinated against a virus that sends thousands of children to hospital each year.
Rotavirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis — inflammation of the stomach and intestines causing diarrhea and vomiting — in infants in Canada. The virus, which is highly contagious, can cause dehydration and shock in extreme cases. Infants under two are at the greatest risk for severe infection.
According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, rotavirus gastroenteritis is responsible for more sickness than any other common diarrheal illness in children.
In a new position statement, to be released today, the Ottawa-based group is recommending rotavirus vaccination for all infants. It’s also calling for universal funding of the vaccines, for which no province now pays.
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