Rotavirus can spread easily. Good hygiene (handwashing) and cleanliness are important but are not enough to control the spread of the disease.
Rotavirus vaccines are very effective in preventing rotavirus gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) and the accompanying diarrhea and other symptoms. CDC recommends routine vaccination of infants with either of the two available vaccines:
- RotaTeq® (RV5), which is given in 3 doses at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months; or
- Rotarix® (RV1), which is given in 2 doses at ages 2 months and 4 months.
Both rotavirus vaccines are given orally, but they differ in the number of doses given. The vaccines are very effective (85% to 98%) in preventing severe rotavirus disease in infants and young children, including rotavirus infection that requires hospitalization.
Rotavirus vaccines will not prevent diarrhea or vomiting caused by other viruses, but they are very effective against rotavirus infection.
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