Risks at a glance

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and metabolic acidosis – all of which are serious and require hospital treatment
  • Death

About the disease:
Rotavirus is one of the most common and serious causes of diarrhea illness in young babies and children. It starts out with a fever and vomiting, then three to seven days of watery diarrhea and stomach pain.

There is no cure for rotavirus, but children who go to hospital with rotavirus are given fluid through a drip and medications to reduce their discomfort.

Impact of rotavirus:
As of April 2016, the World Health Organisation estimates that around the world, 215 000 child deaths during 2013 were due to rotavirus infection compared to 528 000 in 2000. This reduction is mostly due to the rotavirus vaccine.

The rotavirus vaccine given to babies in the first weeks and months of life prevents rotavirus.

Real life rotavirus stories:

You can see a real life story about rotavirus here.

Dr Paul Offit talks about the first time he saw a child die from rotavirus here.