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Symptoms and Signs of Rotavirus Infection

Doctor's Notes on Rotavirus Infection

Rotavirus infection is the number one cause of severe viral gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) in the world. Infectious gastroenteritis may be caused either by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. There are four viral families that cause most cases of gastroenteritis. Rotavirus is responsible for the large majority of gastroenteritis illness. After rotavirus, the norovirus is responsible for about one-third of all viral illnesses causing vomiting and diarrhea. Two other types of viruses (adenovirus and astrovirus) each cause a low percentage of intestinal disease. Primary rotavirus infection is very common in children 6 months to 2 years of age.

Symptoms of rotavirus infection include fever, vomiting, and non-bloody diarrhea. In some cases children may have respiratory symptoms (runny nose and cough). Complications of rotavirus infection are rare.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.