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Diarrhea caused by rotavirus is common during the winter months. It can spread quickly to others. Children with rotavirus diarrhea are sometimes hospitalized because of dehydration.

How is Rotavirus spread?

Rotavirus leaves the body through the stool of an infected person and enters another person when hands, food or objects (such as toys), contaminated by the stool or vomit are placed in the mouth. Also, rotavirus may be spread through droplets from the nose and mouth of an infected person during sneezing and coughing

What are the symptoms of Rotavirus?

Watery diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Many children show no symptoms. May have a cough, runny nose or ear infection.  Illness generally lasts three to 8 days.

How long is the virus contagious?

from two days before until up to 10 days after onset of symptoms.

How can I prevent infection?

  1. Frequent, careful hand washing by child care staff, children and household members.
  2. Vaccination is recommended at two and four months or two, four and six months of age, depending on the vaccination given.
  3. Clean, rinse with clean water, then disinfect contaminated areas (diapering area, toilets, potty chairs) and sanitize toys at least daily and when soiled.


For more information, please call the Northern Kentucky Health Department at 859.363.2070.

Added April 2015