A new vaccine is being offered in Yukon to combat the rotavirus.

The virus can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever in infants and young children. In some cases, it can lead to death.

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Babies in Yukon will now be offered the rotavirus vaccine, which prevents against the severe virus which can sometimes cause death. (Whitehorse Hospitals)

The vaccine was only introduced in Canada a year ago, but it has been used for several years in the United States.

"There are a few kids who will get severely ill and there are some deaths. In the U.S., they had pre-vaccine 50 or 60 deaths a year in the United States from rotavirus, so it's not insignificant," said Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's Chief Medical Health Officer.

Hanley said the medicine is given orally, along with other shots when babies are two months old and four months old.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said the vaccine is offered when children are eight months old and again when they are two years old. The correct information is that they are offered the vaccine at two and four months of age.
    Oct 09, 2012 10:33 AM CT