Rotavirus is a virus that infects the bowels. It is one of the most common causes of diarrhea and stomach flu, especially in young children and infants. Usually every child is infected at least once until the age of 4. Adults are rarely infected, and the reason for this lies in the fact that every infection strengthens the immunity, so eventually even children become less and less susceptible to this kind of infection. The virus can be transmitted through the contact with the infected object, surface or hands, and since the period of incubation is about 2 days, the first symptoms of the infection do not have to appear immediately after the contact has been made. This virus can be alive for days on adequate surfaces, and it can stay alive for several hours on people's hands. Fever, vomiting and diarrhea are practically unavoidable symptoms, but in infants, these symptoms can be followed by pain in the stomach and dehydration, because they usually last from 3 to 9 days. These symptoms do not have to necessarily be the indication of rotavirus, but it is strongly recommended that, if the parents notice any of them, take their children to the doctor as soon as possible, because a GP will be able to make the right diagnose which might exclude this condition, or they will decide on the treatment if necessary. Less frequent, but also possible symptoms of rotavirus are also lethargy, dry skin and mouth, sunken eyes and extreme thirst. If a child has some kind of rotavirus infection, the parents should be aware that it is usually not a serious condition, despite the fact that it can exhaust the child. Very small number of cases demands staying in the hospital, and very small number of cases had a fatal outcome. The parents should only make sure that their children get enough fluid so that the possible dehydration is prevented, and they should know that, after a few days, this illness will go off by itself.
Today there is the newest version of rotavirus vaccine and according to the studies and statistics, it proved to be very helpful in preventing infections which are caused by rotavirus. This vaccine is recommended for children when they are two, four and six months old. Before this one, there were other vaccines against this virus as well, but they were withdrawn from the market due to some serious side effects.