Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

The rotavirus is a highly infectious disease that can affect anyone but is often seen in children under the age of five and causes severe diarrhoea.

Cause of Rotavirus
The virus is transmitted from an infected persons faeces into the mouth of a susceptible child, baby or adult, through contamination of surfaces, contaminated water or directly from hand to mouth.

Once the virus reaches the intestines there may be an incubation period of around two days followed by disruption to the intestines causing general upset.

Symptoms of Rotavirus
Adult symptoms of the virus tend to be on a much milder scale than experienced by children and babies. Symptoms can include:

Rotavirus Vaccine
The rotavirus vaccines is given orally and should be given when a child is 2, 4 and 6 months of age.

Preventing Rotavirus
Maintaining good levels of hygiene and sanitation will help but not eliminate the virus so a vaccination is the best way to help prevent the virus from occurring.

Diagnosing Rotavirus
Analysis of a stool sample

Treatment of Rotavirus
The virus usually passes within a few days and does not usually need any medication. The patient will require plenty of fluid intake to prevent dehydration and rest. In some cases hospitalization will be required to ensure that correct fluid intake is achieved and any supportive treatment can be given.

Most At Risk
Young children and babies.