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  Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), resulting in severe watery diarrhea, vomiting and fever.  Rotavirus is most common in infants and young children but older children and adults can also be infected.  Infants and children with rotavirus can become dehydrated and may need to be hospitalized.  Before rotavirus vaccine was introduced in the United States in 2006, almost all children were infected with rotavirus before their 5th birthday, and there were 55,000-70,000 hospitalizations and 20-60 deaths each year.  Globally, rotavirus is still the leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children and causes hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Rotavirus vaccines are now part of the routine infant immunization schedule and are very effective at preventing rotavirus disease.





Rotavirus infections are NOT reportable in Orange County, unless associated with an outbreak (which should be reported immediately by phone (714-834-8180) to OCHCA Epidemiology).  Information and resources for schools and child cares with outbreaks are available on the OCHCA Epidemiology School webpage.

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Last reviewed December 21, 2018