What is rotavirus?
Rotavirus is an infection caused by a virus. It is common in babies and young children, however older children and adults can also become infected. Rotavirus causes swelling of the stomach and intestines. Children and adults can get the infection more than once, however the first infection usually causes the most severe symptoms. The virus is most common in the winter and spring.
What are the symptoms of rotavirus?
Symptoms of rotavirus infection include:
- high fever
- watery diarrhea
- abdominal pain
If fluids aren’t given, the child can quickly become dehydrated, which can lead to severe complications. Adults who get rotavirus tend to have milder symptoms.
You should see a health care provider if the illness seems to be causing more serious symptoms.
How is rotavirus spread?
Rotavirus spreads easily among infants and young children. It can be spread both before and after they become sick with diarrhea. The virus is found in the feces of an infected person. It is picked up by the hands when changing diapers or other toileting activities and can be transferred to the mouth or to objects that are then put into the mouth.
How is rotavirus treated?
Because rotavirus is a virus and not a bacteria, antibiotics will not help.
Make sure to offer your child plenty of fluids. If they get dehydrated they may need special re-hydration solutions or to be taken to the hospital.
You can treat mild symptoms at home.