House Call: What is Rotavirus?

Rotavirus spreads easily among infants and young children. The virus can cause severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Children who get rotavirus disease can become dehydrated and may need to be hospitalized.

Dr. Seth Sullivan from Baylor Scott & White Health joined us Wednesday on First News at Four to discuss this topic. Click on the video player for more information and to see that interview.

Good hygiene like handwashing and cleanliness are important, but are not enough to control the spread of the disease. Rotavirus vaccine is the best way to protect your child against rotavirus disease.

Most children (about 9 out of 10) who get the vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus disease. About 7 out of 10 children will be protected from rotavirus disease of any severity.

Two rotavirus vaccines are currently licensed for infants in the United States:

RotaTeq® (RV5) is given in 3 doses at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months

Rotarix® (RV1) is given in 2 doses at ages 2 months and 4 months
The first dose of either vaccine should be given before a child is 15 weeks of age. Children should receive all doses of rotavirus vaccine before they turn 8 months old.

Both vaccines are given by putting drops in the child’s mouth.