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Rotavirus (ROE-tuh-vie-russ) is a contagious illness caused by a virus. It can affect the digestive system and cause diarrhea (large amount of watery stools). It spreads very easily from one child to another.
Rotavirus occurs most often during the winter months. It is more common in infants and children up to about 2 years of age. Most infants have been immunized against rotavirus and are likely to have mild symptoms. The symptoms may come on suddenly and last up to 10 days. You can, however, make your child more comfortable and keep him or her from getting dehydrated (dried out) if vomiting or diarrhea develops.
The first 3 days:
The 3rd to 10th days:
Give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol®) for fever and discomfort. If your child is under 3 months of age, be sure to check with your doctor first. Give small amounts of liquids (1 to 2 ounces) every 20 to 30 minutes. This is very important to keep your child from getting dehydrated (Picture 1). Do not give only water.
Give only the liquids below:
Do NOT give:
Orange juice, apple juice or prune juice
Call your child’s doctor if he or she shows any of these signs of dehydration (Picture 2):
Call your child’s doctor if any of the following occurs:
If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse, or call ____________________.
HH-I-206 Revised 9/11 Copyright 1999-2011, Nationwide Children’s Hospital