Rotavirus is a virus that causes diarrhea among persons in all age groups but is most common among children between six months and two years old. Symptoms of rotavirus include watery diarrhea, often with vomiting, fever, and stomach pain. Symptoms usually last from three to eight days. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite and dehydration (loss of body fluids). The symptoms usually appear one to three days after a person is infected with rotavirus. The virus is spread through eating or drinking food items contaminated with feces from an infected person. Rotavirus can also be spread by contaminated toys and other surfaces.
Anyone can become infected with rotavirus, but it is most common among children between six months and two years old.
Rotavirus is not a reportable disease in Oklahoma.
Rotavirus vaccination is the best way to protect children against rotavirus disease. Currently, two different vaccines are available to protect against rotavirus in children.
Other ways to protect yourself and your family is through good hand washing and cleaning. Wash your hands with soap and water often. Surfaces contaminated with rotavirus should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a bleach solution. Disinfectants other than bleach are not effective against rotavirus. Children with diarrhea should not attend day care until the diarrhea has stopped.
No specific treatment for illness due to rotavirus is available. Drink plenty of fluids to protect against dehydration. In some cases, people may need to be hospitalized for treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids. If you or someone you are caring for become dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider.