Rotavirus Disease

Rotavirus is a virus which causes vomiting and watery diarrhea. These symptoms may lead to loss of appetite and dehydration, which is especially dangerous for infants and young children.

Symptoms are:

  • Severe watery diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain


Rotavirus is spread by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and touching your mouth. Rotavirus is shed from an infected person’s stool (poop). 

People with rotavirus can infect others before they have symptoms and remain infectious three days after they recover.

Good hygiene is important, but it is not enough to prevent the spread of disease. Rotavirus vaccination is the best way to protect your child from disease.

Scientific Term

  • Rotavirus

Generic Term

  • Rotavirus diarrhea

Groups at Risk

Groups at higher risk for severe disease:

  • Children ages 3 months to 3 years of age

Groups most at risk for infection:

  • Children in childcare centers or other settings with many young children
  • Older adults
  • Adults caring for children with rotavirus disease
  • Those with compromised immune systems

Fact sheets

  • Rotavirus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Vaccine Information

Before the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in 2005, almost all U.S. children were infected with rotavirus before their 5th birthday. The introduction of rotavirus vaccines have reduced the severity of disease in vaccinated individuals, and has reduced the number and spread of rotavirus cases across the United States.

Vaccine Information Statements

  • Rotavirus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Related Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention