One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a group of RNA viruses, some of which cause acute enteritis in humans.
- ‘Gastroenteritis is caused mainly by viruses, such as the rotaviruses commonly found in infected shellfish.’
- ‘Symptomatic human rotaviruses were detected in 57 of 352 specimens by RNA-PAGE.’
- ‘He is investing as much as $300 million to test a vaccine against rotavirus, a highly infectious parasite that can cause deadly gastroenteritis.’
- ‘Astroviruses, meanwhile, are a leading cause of gastrointestinal infections, second only to rotaviruses as a cause of childhood diarrhea.’
- ‘In recent years, the existence of different types of human rotaviruses has been demonstrated by immunological assays and gel electrophoretic analysis of viral RNA.’
1970s: modern Latin, from Latin rota ‘wheel’ + virus.
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