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Aerosol spread of diarrheal diseases.

Aerosol spread of diarrheal diseases

A virologist is making what he calls a "radical" proposal for the mechanism of dispersal of rotaviruses, the agents most commonly responsible for hospitalized cases of diarrheal disease in children. Previous research had demonstrated transmission of the viruses by contaminated water, but Carl D. Brand of Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., argues that they must also employe other routes. In temperate climates, rotaviruses show a striking seasonality; there are several hundred times as many cases in the winter as in the summer. Brand proposes that the low indoor humidity in winter increases the survival of the virus, which is released into the environment in large number -- 1 billion viruses per gram of feces of an infected infant. A "rotavirus aerosol" might be created when an infant's diapers are changed, bedding is aired or a toilet is flushed.
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Author:Miller, Julie Ann
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 12, 1986
Words:143
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