A group of viruses that commonly cause stomach upset and diarrhea, especially in children.


Rotavirus passes from one person to another because it is present in stool. Hands that are not washed well can carry the virus and pass the virus to any touched object, such as a toy, doorknob or toilet handle. The virus can then pass from hands or objects to the mouth.


Symptoms, especially in children, may include fever and vomiting followed by diarrhea that lasts a few days to a week.


There's no medicine to treat rotavirus infection. Prevent or treat dehydration with drinks that have salts and minerals. Serious dehydration may mean a hospital stay to get fluids directly into the bloodstream. Children can get a rotavirus vaccine to prevent illness. Washing hands with soap and water also can prevent the spread of the virus.