Diana Kohnle Definition
Rotavirus is an infection of the stomach and intestines. It is the most common cause of severe
in infants and young children.
Rotavirus can easily pass from person to person.
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A rotavirus infection is caused by a specific type of virus.
The virus is passed through the stool of someone with rotavirus. The infected stool can pass the virus to hands, surfaces, objects, food, or water. The virus then enters the body when any of these infected items come in contact with the mouth.
Risk Factors TOP
People with the highest chance of rotavirus include:
Infants and young children Children who attend daycare or any public childcare setting Adults who care for young children, especially children who wear diapers Children or adults with household members who have the virus Symptoms TOP
Symptoms of rotavirus may vary from person to person but may include:
diarrhea Abdominal pain
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. They often last about 3 to 8 days.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The infection may be diagnosed based on your symptoms. A stool sample may be taken. The sample will be examined for the presence of the virus.
There is no treatment for rotavirus itself. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics.
Some treatments may be needed for symptoms caused by the infection. For example,
may need to be treated with:
Rehydration fluids—such as an oral rehydration solution for children IV fluids—if dehydration is severe
For children, the doctor may advise probiotics. Probiotics may help reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea symptoms.
Good hygiene is the best way to help reduce the spread of rotavirus. This includes taking the following steps:
Wash your hands
If someone in your house has rotavirus, encourage everyone to wash their hands more often.
Always wash your hands:
After using the toilet After changing a baby's diaper or helping a child use the toilet Before handling or preparing food
There is a
to prevent rotavirus in babies. Your baby may need 2 or 3 doses between the ages of 2-6 months.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
US Food and Drug Administration
http://www.fda.gov CANADIAN RESOURCES:
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Rotavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 12, 2016. Accessed December 21, 2017.
Rotavirus. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated February 12, 2016. Accessed December 21, 2017.
Rotavirus gastroenteritis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
. Updated November 16, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2017.
Rotavirus vaccine access and delivery. PATH website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL) Published February 23, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2017.
Rotavirus vaccine live. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
. Updated December 6, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2017.
12/14/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance
: Leder K, Sinclair M, Forbes A, Wain D. Household clustering of gastroenteritis.
4/28/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance
: Sindhu KN, Sowmyanarayanan TV, et al. Immune response and intestinal permeability in children with acute gastroenteritis treated with
GG: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin
Infect Dis. 2014;58(8):1107-1115.
Last reviewed November 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kassir, MD Last Updated: 12/20/2014