What is rotavirus infection?
Rotavirus is a common virus that causes diarrhea (frequent, loose watery stool) and throwing up.
The virus isn't dangerous in older children. But in babies and young children, a lot of diarrhea and throwing up can cause serious dehydration Dehydration in Children Everyone needs water and certain chemicals (electrolytes) to be healthy. Normally, you drink fluids to meet the need, and being thirsty tells you when you need more fluids. But babies and very... read more (not enough water in the body).
Most babies get the rotavirus vaccine Rotavirus Vaccine The rotavirus vaccine is a live-virus vaccine that helps protect against gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and, if symptoms persist, dehydration and organ... read more (shot) to prevent rotavirus as part of their regular childhood vaccinations
Washing your hands often with soap and water is the best way to keep rotavirus and other stomach viruses from spreading
Most children get better by resting and drinking fluids, but some very ill children need to get extra fluid through a vein (an IV)
Older children and adults also can get rotavirus infection, but symptoms are usually mild
What causes rotavirus infection?
Rotavirus is a virus that spreads when you touch something with infected stool on it, such as a diaper or toy, and then touch your mouth.
What are the symptoms of rotavirus infection?
At first, a fever and throwing up
Then, watery diarrhea that usually lasts for 5 to 7 days
If children don’t drink enough fluid, they may become dehydrated. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has diarrhea and any of these warning signs of dehydration:
How can doctors tell if my child has rotavirus infection?
Although there are many viruses that cause the same symptoms as rotavirus, doctors don't always need to tell them apart. But if they do, doctors test your child's stool for rotavirus.
How do doctors treat rotavirus infection?
Doctors usually treat your child at home with bed rest and fluids to drink.
If your child can't drink enough to keep from being dehydrated, doctors may give your child IV fluids (through a vein).
How can I prevent my child from getting rotavirus infection?
Get your children vaccinated Rotavirus Vaccine The rotavirus vaccine is a live-virus vaccine that helps protect against gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and, if symptoms persist, dehydration and organ... read more for rotavirus as part of their regular childhood vaccinations
Wash your hands and your child’s hands often using warm water and soap