Rotavirus in Children

Recently, children from local daycares have been diagnosed with rotavirus. Parents should know the symptoms, treatment, and cause of rotavirus and how to prevent transmission of the virus.

Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting; and
  • Fever

Symptoms can last from three to seven days.

Treatment

Rotavirus can be treated at home with fluids to prevent dehydration. However, medical treatment should be sought if:

  • Vomiting persist for more than 24 hours;
  • Fever of 105 or higher;
  • Sever dehydration; or
  • Signs of pain or lethargy.

Your doctor will likely administer IV fluids to rehydrate your child and prescribe anti-nausea medication to help your child keep down fluids.

Cause

Rotavirus is a common cause of diarrhea and vomiting in children. It is primarily contracted through fecal-oral transmission. The incubation period is two days; meaning symptoms often occur two days following contact with the virus. The virus can be present in an infected person up to ten (10) days after symptoms resolve. The virus can spread from persons who have contracted the virus but do not have symptoms. Infection of the virus does not provide immunity; therefore, the virus can be contracted multiple times; however, reoccurrences are often less severe than initial contract with the virus. Transmission of the virus can be prevented by good hand-washing immediately after contact with bodily fluid from an infected person.