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Everything you need to know

The rotavirus is an intestinal virus that causes diarrhoea and other symptoms. It’s highly contagious and the leading cause of diarrhoea in newborns and young children around the world. A rotavirus has a circular form when viewed under a microscope. The virus’s name comes from the Latin word “rota,” which means “wheel.”

The infects the stomach and intestines, causing inflammation. In newborns, young children, and some adults, it can cause severe diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, belly pain, and dehydration.

Medications can assist with the symptoms, but rotavirus has no cure. HPV is possible that even children who have been vaccinated against it will contract it more than once.


If your child has been exposed to rotavirus, symptoms will not appear for nearly two days. After that, they’ll have:

Symptoms include fever, vomiting, and stomach pain. The symptoms usually begin with these and gradually fade away.

After the first three symptoms have passed, diarrhoea sets in. The diarrhoea might last for 5 to 7 days while the virus works its way through your child’s system.

If your child experiences any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right once.

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting frequently
  • There is a decreased urge to drink fluids.
  • Stools that are black, have blood or pus in them
  • Any fever in a baby under the age of six months
  • A youngster older than 6 months has had a fever for longer than 24 hours.

Your child may not feel like eating or drinking due to the vomiting and diarrhoea. This can cause them to get dehydrated, which can be life-threatening. Dehydration is a risk for older persons, especially those who have other illnesses or ailments.

If you detect any of the following signs of dehydration, contact your doctor:

  • Anxiousness
  • Crying but not shedding tears
  • Dry diapers or infrequent urination
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth and throat.
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Skin that is pale
  • Eyes that have sunk
  • Adults experience identical symptoms, but they are usually milder.


A physical exam and inquiries about your symptoms will most likely be used to get a diagnosis.

In rare situations, they may send a sample of your child’s stool to a lab for analysis.


Rotavirus can infect anyone, although it mostly affects:

  • Infants
  • Children in their early years
  • Affectionate relatives
  • Those who care for children, such as nannies and child care providers

If your child has rotavirus, it can be found in their poop up to 10 days before symptoms appear and up to 10 days after they disappear. When your child wipes their hands after using the restroom, rotavirus can spread to their hands. They risk contaminating anything they touch if they don’t wash their hands, which includes:

  • Markers and crayons
  • Food
  • Sinks and kitchen counters and other surfaces.
  • Toys, such as iPads and remote controllers, are shared gadgets.
  • Utensils
  • Water

You can become infected by touching your child’s unclean hands or any contaminated object and then touching your lips.

The importance of disinfection cannot be overstated. Rotavirus can survive for weeks on surfaces and objects.


Left untreated Rotavirus can cause the following complications:

  • Severe diarrhoea.
  • Dehydration.
  • Electrolyte imbalance.
  • Metabolic acidosis.

Treatment is symptomatic; nutrition should be maintained throughout the illness. Children who are immunocompromised due to congenital immunodeficiency or bone marrow or solid organ transplantation may develop severe or long-lasting gastroenteritis, with evidence of rotavirus-related abnormalities in numerous organ systems, particularly the kidney and liver.

When to call a doctor

When should I get medical attention for rotavirus? If your child’s vomiting or diarrhoea becomes more frequent, contact his or her doctor. Also, if you see signs of dehydration, for more than eight hours, no wet diapers which can occur as a result of vomiting or diarrhoea, contact your GP or call 111. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.


Rotavirus does not have a specific treatment. Antibiotics are ineffective, and antiviral medicines are ineffective.

Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms as well as rehydration fluids to replenish minerals lost via vomiting and diarrhoea.

It normally takes a week to work its way through your child’s system. Give them plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration during this period, such as:

The best foods are bland things like crackers. Avoid apple juice, milk, cheese, sweet meals, and anything else that could aggravate your vomiting or diarrhoea. Sugary sports drinks should also be avoided.


Hand washing and sanitising surfaces on a regular basis can assist, but nothing is guaranteed.

The NHS advises that your child get a rotavirus vaccine. They will be less prone to get it as a result of this. If they do contract it, the symptoms will be milder.


Rotavirus is spread by hand-to-mouth contact in faeces and can be picked up from surfaces like toys, hands, or soiled nappies. Sneezing and coughing can also spread it through the air. It is most commonly disseminated when an infected person does not properly wash their hands after using the toilet.


The majority of youngsters recover without any long-term consequences. Symptoms usually last a week. Dehydration in your child can lead to significant consequences and even death.