Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, particularly in infants and young children. It is a leading cause of severe gastroenteritis and dehydration worldwide.
Rotavirus is transmitted through the fecal-oral route, meaning that it is spread when a person ingests the virus after touching contaminated objects or surfaces, or through close contact with infected individuals. The virus can survive on surfaces for several hours and can be easily spread in settings such as daycare centers, schools, and hospitals.
Symptoms of rotavirus infection usually appear within 1-3 days of exposure and include fever, vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The illness can last up to 8 days and can be particularly dangerous in young children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Prevention of rotavirus infection includes good hygiene practices such as hand washing, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers, and proper cleaning of surfaces and objects. Vaccines are also available to protect against rotavirus infection, and are recommended for all infants as part of routine childhood immunization programs.