Rotavirus is a virus that infects the intestines of almost all young children by age 5. Children can get it more than once. But the first infection is often the worst.
This virus is often spread in settings where many children are together, such as day care centres. It spreads through contact with the stools from an infected child.
Vomiting is often the first symptom. Often, a fever and diarrhea follow. Most children with rotavirus have very watery diarrhea. This can seem like a large amount for a baby or small child. The most severe diarrhea lasts 4 to 8 days. But episodes of diarrhea can last long after your child starts feeling better. In some children, diarrhea can last for a few weeks.
Babies and very young children with the virus need to be watched closely. This is because they can become dehydrated very quickly. Dehydration occurs when the body loses water faster than it is replaced. This can cause serious health problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of:
July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
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