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Rotavirus is a contagious virus that can cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). Symptoms include severe watery diarrhea, often with vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Infants and young children are most likely to get rotavirus disease. They can become severely dehydrated and need to be hospitalized and can even die.

Vaccination

Nurse administering vaccine to a baby

Rotavirus vaccines are very effective at preventing rotavirus disease. Children should get either of the two available rotavirus vaccines:

  • RotaTeq® (RV5) is given in 3 doses at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months
  • Rotarix® (RV1) is given in 2 doses at ages 2 months and 4 months.

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How Rotavirus Spreads

Baby having his nappy changed

People who are infected with rotavirus shed the virus in their feces (poop). If you accidently get the stool in your mouth, you can get infected with rotavirus. This can happen by

  • touching contaminated objects or surfaces then putting your fingers in your mouth
  • consuming contaminated food and liquids

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