Rotavirus disease is most common in infants and young children. However, older children and adults and can also become infected with rotavirus. Once a person has been exposed to rotavirus, it takes about 2 days for the symptoms to appear.
Children who get infected may have severe watery diarrhea, often with vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Vomiting and watery diarrhea can last from 3 to 8 days. Additional symptoms include loss of appetite and dehydration (loss of body fluids), which can be especially harmful for infants and young children.
Symptoms of dehydration include
- decrease in urination
- dry mouth and throat
- feeling dizzy when standing up
A dehydrated child may also cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.
Adults who get rotavirus disease tend to have milder symptoms.
Children, even those that are vaccinated, may develop rotavirus disease more than once. That is because neither natural infection with rotavirus nor rotavirus vaccination provides full immunity (protection) from future infections. Usually a person’s first infection with rotavirus causes the most severe symptoms.
- Page last reviewed: May 12, 2014
- Page last updated: May 12, 2014
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