Am I Immune to Subsequent Rotovirus Infections?
February 26, 2010 5:45 AM   Subscribe

I have what appears to be rotavirus-- symptoms are a perfect fit and it's confirmed to be making the rounds among parents and staff at my daughter's preschool. Having had it, am I now immune? I've never felt so sick as an adult and I would like to know that I will never get it again.
posted by Mayor Curley to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
 
You are immune to one conformation of the seven species of rotavirus that are known to exist. Viruses are adept at evolving through mutations over time, and generally part of this evolution involves mutating the epitopes that are recognized by the immune system. So ultimately, no, you are not immune to rotavirus as genus. Just to one particular strain.
posted by sickinthehead at 5:51 AM on February 26, 2010


You are immune to one conformation of the seven species of rotavirus that are known to exist. Viruses are adept at evolving through mutations over time, and generally part of this evolution involves mutating the epitopes that are recognized by the immune system. So ultimately, no, you are not immune to rotavirus as genus. Just to one particular strain.

Did my daughter's vaccine for it encompass all the strains? It appears from reading that the vaccine is for children. If it does encompass all the strains, is it possible for me to get the vaccine?
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:57 AM on February 26, 2010


You'd have to ask your local health department and/or doctor about vaccine accessibility.

But like the flu vaccine, rotovirii mutate and evolve, so getting the vaccine this year will not guarantee immunity to future strains any more than it does to different strains today.

Sorry. No joy here. Virii suck.
posted by valkyryn at 6:48 AM on February 26, 2010


IANAD

There are two vaccines on the market - Rotarix and RotaTeq. Both are very effective, with effectiveness is measured by reducing "severe rotavirus disease and hospitalizations."

From my (albeit brief) research, both Rotarix and RotaTeq have similar levels of protection across a majority of serotypes.

Adult Vaccination is not recommended for either vaccine:

RotaTeq
Rotarix

If you would like some more information, please feel free to mefi mail me.
posted by gagoumot at 11:57 AM on February 26, 2010


One way to try to avoid it might be to know how you got it this time -- how did you get it through your daughter's preschool, if she is immunized and hasn't gotten sick?
posted by palliser at 12:50 PM on February 26, 2010


how did you get it through your daughter's preschool, if she is immunized and hasn't gotten sick?

You get it from poo. I have no idea if a transmissible amount would be in an exposed-yet-vaccinated child's poo, but please don't dispel me of that notion because it's somehow more palatable to me that it came from my daughter's feces rather than some sort of poop train. (Cat Stevens: "Glide on the Poop Train!")
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:54 PM on February 26, 2010


I've definitely read that you can shed virus for some time after recovering from a stomach illness, so maybe that's true if you've been immunized and then exposed, too.

Meanwhile, I hope you're on the mend. I think I had not a single stomach bug between college dorm and my first mobile child, but since then I've gotten one every year. It seems like fecal-oral transmission should be harder to manage than it apparently is.
posted by palliser at 7:32 PM on February 26, 2010


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